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Delivered at the Celebration of the Two Hundredth 

Anniversary of the Founding of the 

Presbyterian Church of Bedford 

Westchester Co., New York 

March 22D, 1881 








^ ^ 3 4 D t, 

• . . 

The Presbyterian Church of Bedford is the old- 
est of the churches under the care of the Presby- 
tery of Westchester (Synod of New York). In 
anticipation of the two hundredth anniversary of 
its foundation, the Session of the church invited 
the Rev. Charles W. Baird, D.D., historian of the 
Presbytery, to deliver a historical discourse upon 
that occasion. The Presbytery approved the 
appointment, and resolved to meet in Bedford 
at the time of the celebration. The discourse, 
considerably enlarged, together with an account 
of the other proceedings, is now published — by 
order of the church Session — at the request of the 
congregation and of many others who participated 
in the bi-centenary celebration. N 

James H. Hoyt, Pastor. 

John G. Clark, 
St. John Owen, 
Daniel B. Finch, 
David Travis, 
James H. Trowbridge^ 
Albert Williamson, 

- Elders. 

Bedford, Westchester County, N. Y., 
December ist, 1881. 



Discourse 7 

List of the Ministers of Bedford Church 102 

List of Ruling Elders of Bedford Church 103 

Proceedings at the Bi-centenary Celebration 105 

Index 135 


THERE is a singular fascination about those 
employments of the mind in which we seek to 
recall and to reconstruct the past ; whether by the 
play of the imagination, the effort of memory, or 
the wider sweep and severer exercise of thought 
in gathering and comparing testimony concerning 
past events. The charm is one that many feel 
most powerfully, and yield to most readily, when 
imagination leads the way, and the wand of the 
poet or the novelist evokes the semblance of 
things that have been. It is a charm acknowl- 
edged by others, to whom verse and story have 
little attraction, yet whose sober thoughts recur, 
with an interest that grows stronger as the years 
go by, to the days of their youth, and to the olden 
times of which they have heard with their ears, of 
which their fathers have told them. But unques- 
tionably the chief satisfaction of the mind in deal- 
ing with the past is found in those labours, and in 
the fruits of those labours, by which the facts of 
the past are ascertained, and its lessons are brought 
to view. Difficult, often baffling, often disappoint- 


ing, this study is one of which we never weary, 
and which never utterly fails to reward us. To 
tempt us on, as by means of the slender records 
that remain, and the faint traditions that have 
come down, we seek to live over the past and to 
reproduce it for others — to tempt us, and to help 
us on, there are the immutable things of nature ; 
the scenery of the drama of human life that has 
been acted beneath these arching skies ; the hills, 
the streams, the fields, the paths that were traced 
through the wilderness in the early settlement, and 
that have been trodden these two hundred years ; 
the sites, if not the very dwellings, where the 
fathers lived. " One generation passeth away, and 
another generation cometh, but the earth abideth 
forever." Man himself, through these succeeding 
generations, has remained greatly the same. The 
joys and the troubles, the loves and the animosi- 
ties, the toils and the sufferings, that break up 
this little life of ours, have been known from age to 
age. And in so far as the times and the men have 
changed, the change has been significant of prog- 
ress. Humanity has been keeping step with the 
march of the centuries. If life, in some of its 
aspects, is an unvarying round of occurrences — 
" that which was is that which shall be, and there 
is nothing new under the sun " — in another and 
a nobler aspect, life is an onward movement, an 
unfolding of a plan of God. This thought, above 
all other thoughts, is engaging and helpful to the 
student of history. It is, I am sure, the impres- 



sion under which we meet here to-day to celebrate 
the completion of two centuries in the history of 
this town and of this church. Here, in the quiet 
country, as in the great world beyond, the steady 
working out of a divine plan has taken place, the 
vigil of an unslumbering Providence has been kept, 
the kingdom of God has been advancing. 

Let us go back then, two hundred years, to the 
twenty-second day of March, in the. year of our 
Lord sixteen hundred and eighty-one. It is a 
strange and an eventful time. Charles the Second 
is on the throne of England. A reign marked by 
disasters and disgraces, and stained by every kind 
of vice and meanness, is approaching its end. 2I March. 
Yesterday the king summoned his last parliament, 
which he will dissolve within a week, to reign after 
that without a parliament until his death, four 
years hence. Meanwhile, in the struggle that is 
going on for civil and religious freedom, it is the 
cause of despotism that seems to be everywhere in 
the ascendant. The Nonconformists of England, 
and the Presbyterians of the North, are suffering 
restraint or persecution. Richard Baxter is preach- 
ing by stealth in the neighbourhood of London ; 
and in that Bedford from which our town is to 
take its name, and in whose jail, ten years ago, he 
wrote "The Pilgrim's Progress/' John Bunyan is 
allowed to pursue his lowly ministry. But in the 
moors and mountain fastnesses of Scotland, the 
Covenanters are hiding from the troops of Claver- 
house, or expiating the crime of fidelity to Christ, 


by the penalty of torture and of death. Thousands 
of Scottish Presbyterians are this moment planning 
to fly their country and emigrate to America. In 
France, Louis the Fourteenth, now at the summit 
of his power, " the arbiter of Europe, " is listening 
to secret proposals from the English King, and 
promising help in the effort to crush out the liber- 
ties of his subjects; while at the same time giving 
orders, this very month, to try the experiment of 
the " dragonnades " on the inoffensive Huguenots 
in his own realm. It is a dark and dreary day in 
the history of the nations. 

On this side of the ocean, English colonists are 
breathing a purer and a freer air: but they are still 
i November, few, and weak, and poor. Sixty years have elapsed 
since the landing of the Mayflower ; fifty years 
since the arrival of Winthrop's company at Salem, 
and the planting of the colony of Massachusetts 
^june. Bay. Two generations of hardy, resolute men 
have lived through the stern New England winters, 
and urged their progress into the wilderness. At 
present, Plymouth and Massachusetts are slowly 
recovering from the impoverishment produced by 
Philip's war. Connecticut alone, of all the New 
England colonies, is quiet and in a measure pros- 
perous. " A community of farmers," with little 
trade, and small increase from immigration, there 
is general comfort, and scarcely any poverty within 
its borders. There are but few servants and fewer 
slaves. The population is homogeneous. " So few 
English, Scotch, or Irish come in, that we can give 


no account of them." * The country is peopling *68i. 
with a sturdy and frugal race, who, left greatly to 
govern themselves, are working out in their town 
organizations, and in their political assemblies, a 
system that anticipates and prepares the way for 
the free institutions of a coming age. They are a 
people who prize learning. Every town is required 
by law to support a school, and nearly all the chil- 
dren in the colony attend the schools. They are a 
religious people. Of the outward forms of religion, 
none could be more rigidly observant. The Sab- 
bath is kept, public worship is frequented, the 
Christian ministry f is honoured, the Bible is read, 
immorality and false doctrine are denounced uni- 
versally. And while doubtless there are some for 
whom religion consists only in these outward forms, 
there are many more, we have good reason to be- 
lieve, who are leading quiet and peaceable lives, in 
all godliness and honesty, in the land where they 
have sought freedom to worship God. 

We are in Connecticut. The boundary line be- 
tween this colony and the province of New York, 
has not yet been ascertained, and will not be for 
these two years. Just now, it is supposed to run 

* Report of the Governor to the Lords of Trade, 15 July, 1680. 
Public Records of Connecticut, Vol. III., p. 298. 

\ u They have ... a scholar to their minister in every town or 
village." Transactions of the Commissioners in New England, 
1665. Paper relating to the colony of Connecticut. Calendar of 
State Papers, Colonial Series, 1661-1668, preserved in Her Majes- 
ty's Public Record Office, page 341. 


somewhere to the west of this spot, nearer the 

Hudson river. We are in Stamford. The terri- 


1 July. tory of the town of Stamford, as purchased from 
the Indians, stretches northward from the sea-coast 
about sixteen miles, and includes the south-eastern 
quarter of the future town of Bedford. As yet, 
however, no inland settlement has been effected. 
Like Asher of old, the people " continue on the 
sea-shore, and abide in their creeks. " From the 
Housatonic to the Hudson, the whole interior is a 
wilderness. East of the Housatonic even, and as 
far as the Connecticut valley, there are but two in- 
land plantations.* With the exception of these 
two, the twenty-six towns of the colony lie scat- 
tered along the Connecticut river and the Sound. 
It was not long after the arrival of Winthrop's 
company at Salem, in 1630, that some of the Mas- 
sachusetts colonists, in search of a more fertile 
region, found their way to the Connecticut river, 
and established themselves at Hartford, Windsor, 
and Wethersfield. The settlement of Wethersfield 
was made by certain immigrants who had first sat 
down at Watertown, near Boston. They soon fell 
into disputes and contentions among themselves. 
At the end of five years the contending parties 
agreed to separate. A number of families, with 
their minister, the Reverend Richard Denton, left 
Wethersfield, and came down to the southern 
shore of Connecticut, where several plantations 

* Woodbury and Waterbury. 


had lately been commenced at Milford, Stratford, JJ£*; 
Fairfield, and Greenwich. Here they founded the 
town of Stamford.* 

This was forty years ago. And now a band of 
Stamford men, twenty-four in number,f have made 

* Called at first Rippowam, or the Wethersfield Men's Plantation. 
— History of Stamford, Conn., by the Rev. E. B. Huntington, p. 17. 
— History of the Town of Greenwich, Conn., by D. M. Mead, p. 27. 

f Namely : — Richard Ambler, Abraham Ambler, Joseph Theale* 
Daniel Weed, Eleazar Slawson, John Wescot, Jonathan Pettit, 
John Cross, John Miller, Nicholas Webster, Richard Ayres, Jonas 
Seely, Joseph Stevens, Daniel Jones, Thomas Pennoyer, John 
Holmes, Benjamin Stevens, John Green, senior, David Water- 
bury, Samuel Weed, Jonathan Kilborn> John Bates, Nathaniel 
Cross, William Clark. Richard Ambler lived until 1699. Abraham, 
his only surviving son, was born 22 Sept., 1642 ; married Mary 
Bates, 25 Dec, 1662. Joseph Theale, son of Nicholas, of Water- 
town, was born 24 Oct., 1640. Daniel and Samuel Weed were 
sons of Jonas, of Watertown. Eleazar Slawson was the son of 
George, of Lynn, in 1637. John Wescot, son of Richard, of 
Wethersfield. John (son-in-law of Robert Bates), and Nathaniel 
Cross, brothers, were of Windsor. John Miller, son of John, of 
Wethersfield. Nicholas Webster, of Stamford, had married Sarah, 
dau. of John Waterbury. Richard Ayres was of Stamford. Jonas 
Seely, son of Obadiah, and grandson of Robert, of Watertown in 
1630. Joseph and Benjamin Stevens, sons of Thomas, of Stam- 
ford. Daniel Jones, son of Cornelius, of Stamford. Thomas 
Pennoyer, born in 1658, son of Robert, of Stamford. John Holmes, 
born in Beverly, Yorkshire, Eng., died in 1729, aged ninety. 
John Green was of Stamford, in 1657. David Waterbury, son or 
grandson of John, of Waterbury. Jonathan Kilborn, probably of 
Wethersfield. John Bates, son of Robert, of Wethersfield. 
William Clark, probably a son of Samuel, of Wethersfield, one of 
the earliest settlers of Stamford. (Huntington, History of Stam- 
ford. Savage, Geneal. Dictionary, passim. List, of the names of 
the persons within the district of the town of Bedford, 5 Sept., 
1698. MSS. in office of Secretary of State, Albany, N. Y.) 


March. their way to this spot in the remote northern 
limits of their town. They have followed, we may 
suppose, the Indian path leading up from the 
shore to this inland clearing, and so have reached 
" the bend of the Mahanas River," where they 
propose to build their homes. The Town Spot, 
for which they have obtained a grant from Stam- 
ford, is a tract of land nine square miles in extent. 
It will be known in future as The First Purchase, 
or Bedford Three Miles Square.* At present, it 
is known as The Hop Ground. 

Large portions of this tract have been under 
cultivation by the Indians. It was heref — so the 
tradition runs — that the savages whom Underhill 
surprised in the year 1644,^: raised their crops of 
corn. Yonder, on the south side of the hill known 
as Indian Farm, stood their village, with its three 
rows of huts, sheltered from the northwest wind. 
The level lands along the bend of the Mahanas, 
stretching northward toward Aspetong, invite the 

* " After the Town had got a grant for 6 miles, they proposed 
to purchase from the Indians a Town Spot of 3 miles Square. 
The Old Purchase was generally called the three Mile Square. 
They had a place called the 3 miles round about, which lay 
near the head of Mehanas. The main of the Settlements were 
where the river runs east. Cortlandts line came to the south- 
ward of the northwest corner of the old purchase of Bedford." 
(Testimony in suit for ejectment, Anderson vs. Rushton, 16 April, 
1733. — Jay Papers, MSS.) 

f History of the County of Westchester, N. Y., by Robert 
Bolton, vol. I., p. 7. (Revised edition.) 

% History of New Netherland, by E. B. O'Callaghan, M.D. 
Vol. I., pp. 300, 301. 


settlers' choice, and promise abundant room for 
their meadows and plantations. Here then they 
will lay out their " house lots " and " field lots," 
reserving a central space for the village green or 
common. And here, fronting on the common, at 
the foot of the rock or crag to be known hence- 
forth as Bates' hill, the Puritan Meeting-house 
shall be erected. 

Not content with a grant of this tract from the 
town of Stamford, within whose bounds it lies, 
our settlers, in accordance with the honest usage 
of Connecticut, have purchased the land from its 23 D e 6 c 8 e m ber. 
Indian claimants. The bargain with the " heathen " 
was sealed at Stamford, last December ; the price 
paid being thirty-eight pounds and fifteen shil- 
lings.* Before the closing of the contract, John 
Cross, one of the purchasers, went up with the 
Indians to inspect the land.f His name will be 
associated hereafter with the stream at the north- 
eastern angle of the Hop Ground, called by the 
Indians Peppeneghek, and by the white men Cross 

Our settlers, nearly all, are the sons of English 
Puritans, founders of the colony of Massachusetts 
Bay. We recognize the names of Wescot, Miller, 

* The Record Book of ye Proprietors of Bedford : anno 1683. 

f "John Cross was sent with the Indians." (Testimony in suit 
for ejectment.) 

\ The same name was also given to a tract of land in the north- 
ern part of the town, known as Cross's Vineyard, now included in 
the Jay estate. 


1681. Kilborn, Clark, and Bates, as names of " Wethers- 
field men." John and Nathaniel Cross are the 
sons of a Windsor settler. Other names, as Theale, 
Weed, and Seely, are to be traced back to the 
earlier settlement at Watertown. In only one 
case can we refer to the place where the settler's 
family originated in England. John Holmes is a 
native of Beverly, Yorkshire, and came to this 
country some twenty years ago, when just of age. * 
The little company has its leader and patriarch 
in Richard Ambler, now seventy years old, a repre- 
sentative of the first generation of New England 
men. He was of Watertown as early as the year 
1637. His only son, Abraham Ambler, accom- 
panies the expedition, of which, indeed, he is one 
of the most influential members. The men thus 
associated are not only from the same town, and 
the same religious society, but there are ties also 
of kinship and intermarriage uniting them. Daniel 
and Samuel Weed are brothers. So are John and 
Nathaniel Cross, and Joseph and Benjamin Stevens. 
John Miller and Jonas Seely are half-brothers ; 
while Abraham Ambler and John Bates, John 
Cross and John Bates, Nicholas Webster and 
David Waterbury are brothers-in-law. It willcer- 

* The family represented among the first settlers of Bedford by 
John Holmes, senior, and John Holmes, junior, appears to have 
been entirely distinct from the family of the same name among the 
early settlers of Stamford. John Holmes, senior, is said to have 
come from England to New York. He first settled in Greenwich, 
and thence removed to Bedford. (Mead's Hist, of Greenwich, 
Conn., p. 313.) 



tainly be strange, if, sustaining these relations, 
our settlers shall fail to make it appear how good 
and how pleasant it is for brethren to dwell to- 
gether in unity. 

Before the end of the first year, the proprietors 
had admitted three additional members* to their 
body, making the entire number twenty-seven ; 
and they had also agreed " to receive eleven inhab- 
itants into the Hop Ground in order to the settle- 
ment of a town/' f Under the laws of Connecticut 
it was necessary that a plantation should consist of 
a sufficient body of freeholders, in order to be dig- 
nified by the name and be admitted to the rights 
of a town. It was not until this had been accom- 
plished, that Bedford obtained its present designa- 
tion. The General Court at Hartford now granted 
the petition of " the people of the Hop Ground," 
giving them the " privilege of a plantation," and 
ordering " that the name be henceforth called Bed- ^May. 
ford." % 

* Cornelius Seely, brother of Jonas ; John Miller, junior (per- 
haps " the good and pious Deacon Miller" mentioned further on); 
and John Slawson, brother of Eleazar. 

f The persons so received were Thos. Wyat, Samuel Burrett, 
Zachariah Roberts, Joshua Webb, Wm. Sturdevant, Stephen 
Clason, Thos. Canfield, Theoph. Balden, Thos. Wilman, Joseph 
Green, Daniel Simkins. 

\ May 16, 1682. — Vpon the petition of the people of Hop 
Ground, This Court doth grant them the priviledg of a plantation, 
and doe order that the name of the towne be hencefort called Bed- 
ford. And this Court doe appoynt Joseph Theale to be the present 
cheife military officer for the Train Band of sayd Bedford ; and 
Abram Ambler is impowered by this Court to grant warrants, to 


Why the former name should have been adopted, 
and why the latter should now be conferred, we 
do not know. The one, " The Hop Ground," may 
have been suggested by the profusion of the plant 
referred to, growing wild, as we learn, in this 
region at the time of the settlement.* The other, 
Bedford, was given, most probably, by the General 
Court, in accordance with a principle adopted many 
1658. years before, " intending," as they quaintly ex- 
pressed it, " thereby to keep and leave to posterity 
the memorial of several places of note in our dear 
native country of England." f There is no ground 
for supposing that the first settlers of this town 
came from Bedford in England. 

Together with its new name, the plantation re- 
ceived the usual outfit of an orderly New England 
community. Joseph Theale was appointed chief 
officer of the train band. Abraham Ambler was 
empowered to grant warrants, administer the oath, 
and join persons in marriage. The same impor- 
tant person was chosen by his fellow-settlers as 
town clerk and recorder of lands. But there were 
two offices in the gift of the people, for the filling 
of which they had not waited to be formally con- 
swear officers and witnesses, and to joyne persons in marriage ac- 
cording to law : and they doe free the sayd towne of Bedford from 
the country rates for the space of three yeares next ensueing. (Co- 
lonial Records of Connecticut.) 

* " Hop-meadow " was the name given by the early settlers of 
Simsbury, Conn., to a part of their plantation. (History of Sims- 
bury, Granby, and Canton, by Noah A. Phelps.) 
f Colonial Records of Connecticut. 




2 December. 

stituted a town. At one and the same meeting, 
the proprietors received Joshua Webb as an inhab- 
itant to be their miller, and called a Minister. 

The settlement of a Minister was always the fore- 
most care of a New England plantation. Doubt- 
less the founders of this town were disposed so to 
recognize it. But they had already been remind- 
ed of their duty by the General Court of the col- 
ony. The very first order of the Court, relating to I9 l6 Ma y 
this settlement, required that provision be made 
for the " first Minister of the place," and for his 
successors in office " forever." * 

I have dwelt thus at length upon the period and 
the circumstances of the early settlement, because 
it has appeared to me that these facts might justly 
affect our understanding of the character and the 
history of this town. It is surely not without sig- 
nificance that this latest plantation of Connecticut, 
projected like a vein of finer metal into the meta- 

* May 19, 1681. — This Court being moved to grant liberty to 
erect a plantation upon the Hopp Ground and adjacent lands, 
about 12 miles to the northwards of Standford, doe grant their re- 
quest, and appoynt Capt n Richard Olmsteed, L" 1 Jonath. Bell and 
L n t Jonath. Lockwood and Mr. Joseph Theale, to be a commit- 
tee to entertein such persons as shall plant there, and to manage, 
order and disspose of the afTayres of that plantation, according to 
their best skill and so as may best advance the welfare and growth 
of the sayd plantation ; and that theJPare to take care that there be 
a suitable lott layd out for the first minister of the place, and a 
lott for the ministry, to be and belong to the ministry for ever. — 
Conn. Records. 

A certified copy of the above order, taken 21 Jan., 1696, is in the 
possession of Mrs. John C. Holmes, Lewisboro\ 



morphic mass of our New York population, while 
yet the Puritan fervour lasted, and just at the time 
when this province was taking its permanent shape, 
bore so close and so demonstrable a relation to the 
great civil and religious movement that formed 
New England. I do not insist that this vein was one 
of pure gold. Inferior elements mingled, we know, 
from the first, with the better materials of the New 
England colonization.* Doubtless there were such 
elements here. But we have ample evidence that 
the founders of this town were for the most part 
upright and God-fearing men. Some of them, as 
John Holmes, Abraham Ambler, John Wescot, 
Zachariah Roberts, Cornelius Seely, and Daniel 
Jones, were active Christian men — "gifted 
brethren," to use the phrase of that dayf — to 
whom, in the absence of a Minister, the commu- 
nity looked as competent to guide and edify them 
in their religious life. Such a man, too, was " the 
pious and good Deacon Miller " — so styled in a 
legal document relating to those early times, as 
one whose testimony should be held sufficient to 
establish a controverted fact. ^ 

* Many of the young men were " wild enough," says Bradford : 
History of Plymouth Plantation, p. 106. 

f " They . . . are so poor that they are not able to maintain 
scholars for their ministers, b*t are necessitated to make use of a 
gifted brother in some places." (Transactions of the Commission- 
ers in New England, 1665. Paper relating to the colony of New 
Plymouth. Calendar of State Papers, Colonial Series, 166T-1668, 
page 344.) 

\ Testimony in suit for ejectment. 



These are matters of record. I have no doubt 
that there are traditions which confirm the record ; 
that among the descendants of these men there 
linger memories of their simple manners and their 
antique virtues, their love of truth and honesty, 
their reverence for the Sabbath, and their strong 
faith in the teachings of God's word. And if 
something of all this remains with their children, 
it is meet and right that we should give credit for 
it to the fathers. It is right that we should recall 
the early times in which principles were tested, and 
character was formed; remembering "in what a 
forge and what a heat " the institutions we now 
possess were long ago cast and fashioned. 

The action we commemorate to-day, as taken 
two hundred years ago, relates to the location of the 
" Meeting-house " or church of the first settlers. 
Twelve days before, the proprietors of the Hop 
Ground, still residing in Stamford, had appointed 
five of their number* " to lay out the Town Plot 
both for situation and also to lay out the house 
lots, and one lotment in the field on the east side 
of the plaine to every proprietor/' A " convenient 
lot " was also to be left in the Town Plot, and a 
lot in the field, " proportionable with the others," 
for the use of the town. The committee thus ap- 
pointed made report that they had fulfilled their 
task, laying out the street, and designating the 


10 March. 

17 March. 

* Joseph Theale, Abraham Ambler, John Miller, Daniel Jones, 
John Cross. 


1681. house lots of three acres each, the choice of which 
was made as usual by casting the lot. On the 
twenty-second of March, 1681, the proprietors 
met, and approved the report of the " layers out." * 
It was resolved " the town common" be reserved 
in the place that had been determined upon, " and 
the Meeting-house shall be set upon the common 
so layd out namely the rock called Bates his Hill." 
The Town Common of the first settlers, was un- 
questionably the spot now known as the Village 
Green. Originally, it would seem, covering three 
acres, f it has been gradually diminished by suc- 
cessive encroachments: but as recently embel- 
lished and enclosed, it forms the central attraction 
of this beautiful village. On the west side of the 
little park rises the singular eminence formerly 
known as Bates' Hill. Here, at the foot of the 
steep cliff, lies the ancient graveyard, where Thomas 
Denham, the first Minister of Bedford, and many 
of his parishioners, the " forefathers of the hamlet," 
sleep. And here, adjoining the burying-ground, 

* " 22d March i6|t- the propriators agree that w t [whatj the co- 
mittee had done in laying out ye town plot and the house lots 
shall stand, and the place they reserued for the town comon and 
the town lot to be as they laid it out and the meeting house shall 
be set upon the common so layd out namly the rock called Bates 
his Hill." 

f The " lot for the use of the town " in the town plot was prob- 
ably of the same size with the other house lots, which were to be 
not less than three acres in extent. The lot reserved in the field 
for the same use was to be " proportionable with the other lots " In 
that locality. 


and fronting on the Common, stood the first house l6Sl - 
of worship erected in this place, upon the present 
site of the Methodist Episcopal Church in Bedford 
village. It has been supposed hitherto that this 
first house of worship was identical with the build- 
ing destroyed a hundred years later, in the course 
of the Revolutionary war ; and that it stood at the 
foot of the hill, near the head of the village street, 
a few rods east of the site of the church recently 
abandoned for the present one. I am indebted to 
Mr. James Wood, President of the Westchester 
County Historical Society, for the suggestion of 
the site mentioned above : and upon further ex- 
amination I have been enabled to identify " the 
rock called Bates his Hill " with the eminence 
north of the Methodist Church. The town records 
show that in 1787 the trustees of the Presbyterian 
Church sold to Enoch Hall a certain piece of vacant 
land on the south side of Bates' Hill, " reserving a 
drift way next to the Grave Yard and so next 
to the Hill for the Inhabitance to draw stones." 
Enoch Hall's blacksmith shop stood " where the 
Methodist Church now stands, just south of the 
old grave-yard." * A curious indication of the 
" historic continuity" maintained in this ancient 
village, is to be seen in the fact that the same stipu- 
lation — " reserving liberty for the town to fetch 
stones " — is found a hundred years before, 22 
March, 168 1, when the proprietors give David 

* Information from Mr. Albert Williamson, Bedford. 



Waterbury permission " to rune his home-lot fence 
to the rock commonly called Bates his Hill." 

Although the action that determined the site 
was taken thus early, some years elapsed before the 
Meeting-house was built. As ultimately erected, 
it was a structure of respectable size, twenty-two 
feet in width, by forty feet in depth, and " ten feet 
and a half between joints." It was no rude log- 
cabin, as some of the first habitations doubtless 
were, but a frame building, "clap-boarded and 
shingled/' the whole work done " in a town way," 
at public expense, and under the supervision of 
persons duly chosen at the town meeting.* 

How long this first building may have stood, we 
do not know. In process of time — perhaps in the 
early part of the next century — the primitive sanct- 
uary waxing old and decaying, a new one was 
erected, and in a different locality. As the popu- 
lation increased, and farms were laid out in the un- 
divided lands west and north of the settlement, 

*" October 15th, 1689 : At a town meeting, the town doth agree 
to build Mr. Abraham Ambler, senor, a frame fortye foots long & 
twenty two foots wide and to set it up fit for clabording & shing- 
ling and to rais it up by the last of March to come after the date 
hereof, & the house above mentioned is to be teen foots & a half 
between ioynts and this frame above mentioned is to be set up 
upon the consideration that Mr. Abraham Ambler, senor will com 
up as often as he can conveniantly to cary on the Lord's day 
amongst us one year yt he may settle with us." 

It is evident from the dimensions given in these specifications 
that the house thus described could not have been intended for a 
dwelling, and must have been the Meeting House, the building of 
which had been urged upon the settlers by Mr. Ambler of Stamford. 



the inhabitants living at a distance would naturally 
demand that the church should be brought nearer 
to their own homes. Another site may therefore 
have been chosen as a compromise between con- 
flicting claims. The second church was built about 
one hundred rods north-west of the first one, at 
the foot of the hill upon which the third edifice — 
lately abandoned for the present sanctuary — was 
built after the Revolution. 

Early in the following winter a Minister was T > l681 -, 

J . ■ P 2 December. 

called.* It has been stated that JOHN Prudden 
came to Bedford and preached here for some time.f 
This, however, is a mistake. Mr. Prudden, of 
Jamaica, continued the Minister of that town for 
ten full years from the date of his call in 1676.^: 
Later, he became pastor of the Presbyterian 
church of Newark, New Jersey, where he died in 
the year 1725, in a good old age. § Bedford re- 
mained for three years without a resident Minis- 

* "At a meeting at ye hop ground the proprietors . . . agree to 
give Mr Priddon of Gemeco [Jamaica] a call to be a minester in 
this place. Joseph Theale is chosen to goe to Mr. Priddorir to de- 
clare theire mind in order to his coming among them as above : 
and Abra. Ambler is desired to write to Mr. Pridon in theire 
name and behalf." (Town Records.) 

f Bolton, History of Westchester Co., vol. I., p. 21. A Brief 
History of the Presbyterian Church at Bedford, N. Y., by Rev. P. 
B. Heroy, New York : 1874, p. 2. 

X Documentary History of New York, Vol. III., p. 196. 

§ Two Centuries in the History of the Presbyterian Church, 
Jamaica, L. I., by James M. Macdonald, D.D., New York : 1862, 
pp. 70, 80. 




ter. We are not to infer that the people during 
1684. this time were as sheep having no shepherd. 
Though formed into a separate town, they still 
belonged to the parish of Stamford. John Bishop, 
the second pastor of the church in Stamford, was 
still living.* Our settlers, nearly all, had grown to 
man's estate under his care and teaching. Mr. 
Bishop had once walked all the way from Boston, 
with staff and Bible in hand, when called to the 
field where he laboured for fifty years ; and though 
now an old man, he was still in active service. 
No doubt his voice was heard, from time to time, 
in the new settlement at Bedford ; and no doubt, 
on the high days of the Puritan year — the Fast 
day, Thanksgiving day, and especially the sacra- 
ment Sabbath — not a few of these dwellers in the 
remote part of the parish would make their appear- 
ance in the stone " meeting-house " at Stamford, 
which they themselves had helped to build ten 
years before coming to this place, f 
!68 4 . The first Minister actually settled in Bedford 

was the Reverend THOMAS DENHAM. A man of 
advanced years, he came to this place to spend his 
last days, and to find a resting-place in the ceme- 
tery under Bates' Hill. Mr. Denham had been 

* John Bishop, perhaps from Dorchester, Mass., was at Taun- 
ton in 1640, and at Boston in 1644. In that year he came to 
Stamford, where he preached for fifty years, and died, probably in 
November or December, 1694. (Savage, Gen. Diet., s. v. Col- 
lections of Mass. Hist. Society, VIII., Fourth series, pp. 298.) 

\ Huntington, History of Stamford, Conn., pp. 123, 4, 6. 



living for some years in Rye. Little is known 
about him previous to his stay there. The Minis- 
ters of Fairfield and Stamford had recommended 
him upon his coming to Rye as a suitable person 
for the work, and the General Court at Hartford 
had encouraged his settlement.* It is thought 
that he was the son of John Dunham f of Ply- 
mouth, Massachusetts, and that he was living in 
Sheepscott, Maine, at the time of the outbreak of 
King Philip's war. \ It seems probable that Mr. ^j 7 ^. 
Bishop, who was instrumental in his settlement at 
Rye, may have induced him to remove to Bedford 
to minister to a portion of his own flock. Mr. 
Denham's pastorate here lasted about five years — 
from 1684 to i68<9.§ In addition to his stipend 
of twenty pounds a year, the Minister was pro- 
vided with a house and a home lot, and received a 
share in the successive divisions of the common 

* Public Records of Conn., Vol. II., pp. 321, 322. 

f The name is written indifferently Dunham and Denham. 

% History of Rye, Westchester Co., N. Y., pp. 278, 285, note. 

§ Mr. Denham is believed to have left Rye in 1684 (Hist, of 
Rye, u. s.), and to have come at that time to Bedford. 

At a town meeting, 28 January, i68|, collectors were chosen 
to gather Mr. Denham's rate for this year, and were also empow- 
ered " to gather the remainder that is behind of the former years, 
and make payment of it to Mr. Denham. " The town appointed a 
committee, 22 June, 1688, to see to the finishing of Mr. Dunham's 
house. December 13, 1688, five pounds were appropriated to Mr. 
Dunham " upon the account of his chimblyes." His will (see His- 
tory of Rye, N. Y., p. 280), is dated May 2d, 1688. He was 
probably deceased by October, 1689, when Mr. Abraham Ambler 
was invited " to carry on the Lord's day." 


l6Sg ' lands. His rights as a proprietor, both in Bedford 
and in Rye, descended to his eldest son, Isaac 
Denham, who became one of the leading men in 
the latter place. His " Library of Bookes," in- 
cluding a " Commentary upon the Revelations," 
and another " Upon the Romans,'' was valued at 
six pounds in the appraisement of his effects. In 
curious apposition with these treasures his will 
makes mention of his " white horse," his " mus- 
quett andlonge gun," and his " two-edged sword/' 
the indispensable equipments of the pioneer pastor 
in those rude and anxious times."* 

For twenty years after the settlement of the 
town, Bedford continued to regard itself as an 
integral part of New England. It is true, that, in 
24 November, the year 1683, New York and Connecticut agreed 
upon that zigzag boundary line, which, beginning 
at the mouth of the Byram River, ran first to the 
north-west, and then to the north-east, in such a 
manner as to shut out Rye and Bedford, both of 
them Connecticut plantations, from that colony 
into the province of New York. But Rye and 
Bedford were no parties to this contract, which 
they ignored practically, and at last repudiated 
openly. Connecticut, itself, unwillingly consented 
to the surrender of these towns, secretly hoping 
that the agreement for their cession, having failed 

* The General Court of Hartford granted him the sum of ten 
pounds " in regard to his late loss by the war." (Public Records 
of Conn., Vol. II., pp. 321, 322.) His will mentions his " Estate 
in Sheep's Gutt." 


2 9 

4 June. 

to receive the royal sanction, would never be car- 
ried into effect. For twenty years, then, the peo- 
ple remained in a state of chronic uneasiness and 
disaffection. It was not only that their sympa- 
thies, social and religious, leaned toward Connecti- 
cut, but their material interests were in jeopardy. 
Under the chartered government of the colony, 
they were secured in the possession of their lands, 
which they had honestly bought from the Indians, 
and diligently improved. But no sooner had their 
town been annexed to New York, than notice 
came to them from the sheriff of Westchester 
County, bidding them show what right and title 
they had to their lands. Instead of obeying this 
summons, the inhabitants applied to Connecticut 
for a patent confirming their territory to them 
under the laws of that colony. The patent, how- 
ever, was not obtained until January, 1697, when x j^l' 
the General Court at Hartford openly received the 
towns of Rye and Bedford, and " undertook their 
protection " as members of that commonwealth. 
Three years later, the question in dispute was set- agSarch. 
tied by an order of the king in council, remanding 
these towns to the jurisdiction of New York. 

All this while, Bedford continued without a 
Minister, except during Mr. Denham's pastorate 
(1 684-1 689). Meantime, however, the interests of 
religion were not neglected. The town itself looked 
after them : the calling of a Minister, the providing 
for his support, the ordering of public worship in 
his absence, being as much the care of the civil 


authority, as the laying out of the common lands, 
or the gathering of taxes. The town appoints one 
and another to " carry on the Lord's day," or con- 
duct the simple services of prayer, exhortation, 
and praise. The town appoints David Mead to 
beat the drum — the primitive substitute for the 
church-going bell. The town, by a major vote, 
orders that there shall be a request made to the 
Ministers of the county — meaning Fairfield County, 
Connecticut, — " to inquire for us, and to acquaint 
9 January. us where we may be likely to attaine to a Minister : 
and for his encouragement we doe agree upon 
serious consideration for his encouragement to 
give him a home lot and forty acres of land and 
meadow, and thirty pounds a year in current pro- 
vision pay."* In those early times, when, of all 
the perils of the wilderness to which a community 
was exposed, the u dreadful tendency to barba- 
rism "f was felt to be the greatest danger, it was 
seen, at least in New England, that religion was 
vital to public order and health, and that nothing 
else more nearly concerned the "citizen and the 

Coming at length under the government of New 

* " Provision pay." " Until the first issue of paper money by 
the colony in 1709, nearly all payments were made in provisions. . . 
From the first settlement to the French war of 1745, there was 
hardly any specie in circulation/' — {History of Simsbary, p. 56.) 

f Historical Discourse, delivered at Norwich, June 23, 1859, be- 
fore the General Association of Connecticut, at the celebration of 
its 150th anniversary. By Leonard Bacon, D.D., p. 47 (in Contri- 
butions to the Ecclesiastical History of Connecticut). 



York, Bedford found itself transposed from the 
parish of Stamford to the parish of Rye. The 
Provincial Assembly of New York had passed, 
eight years before, an " Act for Settling a Ministry I9 sep?emb« 
in the City and County of New York/' and in 
three adjacent counties.* Four u parishes " were 
created by this Act, one of which included Rye, 
Mamaroneck, and Bedford. No mention was made 
in this law of any particular religious denomina- 
tion. The people of the province were tl generally 
dissenters," and the Assembly, which contained at 
the time but a single member of the Church of 
England, had certainly no intention of establish- 
ing Episcopacy in any town or county of the 
province. But the governor, a zealous and un- 
scrupulous partisan of that Church, was bent upon 
such a construction of the Act : and he and his 

* Laws of New York, Vol. I., pp. 18-20. It is to be regretted 
that the revised edition of the History of Westchester County 
should contain the two-fold misstatement, that " Under the Act 
of 1693, the Church of England . . . was settled throughout the 
Province* 7 — (Vol. I., p. 59.) The title of the Act expressly limits 
its operation to the four counties above named, and, moreover, it 
makes no mention of the Church of England. The Assembly 
which passed it represented a population of u dissenters .... 
averse to the Church of England." "The people," said Lewis 
Morris, "who never could be brought to settle an Episcopal min- 
istry in direct terms, fancied they had made an effectual provision 
for ministers of their own persuasion by this Act." — (See Work and 
Materials for American History, by Geo. H. Moore, LL.D., in 
the Historical Magazine, Vols. I., II. Also, Civil Status of the 
Presbyterians in the Province of New York, in the Magazine of 
American History, Oct., 1879.) 


successors, down to the period of the Revolution, 
insisted upon its enforcement for the sole benefit 
of the Anglican clergy. Bedford was one of the 
towns mentioned in the Act of 1693, and Colonel 
Fletcher was only waiting for the arrival of a mis- 
sionary, a clergyman of that Church, to induct 
him as Minister of the parish. But Bedford had 
now secured a Minister of its own ; the church 
lands, by act of the town, were in his possession, 
and Lord Cornbury found no opportunity, under 
pretext of a vacancy, to foist a stranger upon an 
unwilling people. 
Joseph Morgan,* your second pastor, was 
26 December, called by the town in December, 1699. The Min- 
isters of Fairfield County ordained him in the fol- 
lowing year. About the same time the people 
of East Chester, New York, sought his services, 
and petitioned the governor of the province to ap- 
point him as their Minister, f He appears to have 
officiated in both places — over thirty miles apart 
— for the first two years, after which he confined 
his labours to East Chester. The people of Bed- 
ford had hoped that their young pastor would 

* Born in New London, Conn., Nov. 6, 1674; licensed, 1697; 
preached in Greenwich, Conn, (first church), 1697-1700 ; ordained, 
1700; preached in Bedford and East Chester, N. Y., 1700-1704 ; 
settled in Greenwich- (second church), 1705-1708 ; settled in Free- 
hold, N. J., 1709-1728 ; preached in Maidenhead [Lawrenceville], 
N. J., and in Hopewell [Pennington], N. J., for some years ; died 
in, or after, 1740. 

f History of the Protestant Episcopal Church in the County of 
Westchester [N. Y.], by Robert Bolton, p. 364. 



" live and die with" them, and had taken meas- 17 T °°" 

7 12 June. 

ures to have him- inducted by the Governor,** but, 
for some reason which does not appear, his stay 
here was short. It was the beginning, however, 
of a long and fruitful ministry, the greater part 
of which was spent in New Jersey, and was at- 
tended with large success. Morgan was a fluent 
and forcible speaker, and wrote much for the 
press. Cotton Mather was his friend and corre- 
spondent, and Franklin printed one of his ser_ 
mons. His writings are characterized, as his 
preaching doubtless was also, by an impetuosity 
bordering on extravagance ; f but there is reason 
to believe, that, in spite of marked foibles and some 
serious faults, he was a sincere and a useful man. 

He was followed at Bedford by the Reverend 
JOHX JOXFS. J The very curious correspondence 

* History of the Presbyterian Church in America, by the Rev. 
Richard Webster, p. 335. A misprint {indicted for inducted), in 
Dr. Webster's statement, has given rise to the impression that 
Morgan, while in Bedford, was accused of some penal offence, and 
was i dieted and tried, i{ but acquitted." (A Brief History, etc., by 
Rev. P. B. Heroy, p. 7.) There is no evidence of any such trial. 

f I found a strange rhapsodical letter from Morgan, dated March 
23, 1 719, at Freehold, N. J., in one of the letter-books of the 
Gospel Propagation Society, London. 

\ A son of William Jones, of New Haven ; born Oct. 4th, 1667 ; 
graduated at Harvard College, 1690. Subsequent to his ministry 
in Bedford, he preached in Greenwich, Conn., " a year and a 
half," says Savage (Gen. Diet, of First Settlers of N. E., vol. II., 
p. 563), but certainly longer, and probably from 1710 till 1714. 
(Historical Discourse, by Rev. J. H. Lindsley, D.D., Greenwich, 
Conn., pp. 22, 23.) "He was drowned in the harbour, 2S Jan., 
1719, by breaking through the ice." (Gen. Diet., u. s.) 




7 December. 


4 October. 

between this Minister and the inhabitants at the 
time of his call, * shows that he hesitated to settle 
here, because uncertain whether the government 
would allow and approve his ministry " free from 
impositions ,! which he could not comply with. 
His fears on this score were not groundless, as the 
event proved, for a Church of England mission- 
ary had now been appointed in charge of Rye and 
Bedford ; and in due time there came an order for 
his induction. Rye, just then, had neither Minis- 
ter nor house of worship; and the inhabitants, by 
the special efforts of their rich neighbour Colonel 
Heathcote, were persuaded for a while to submit 
to the new order of things. But it was otherwise 
with Bedford. The people were now alive to the 
danger of losing their religious rights. Two years 
before this, both Bedford and East Chester,t while 
under Mr. Morgans ministry, had sought to be re- 
leased from the operations of the Act of 1693, and 
left free to support a Minister of their own choice. 
Bedford showed special earnestness in pressing 
this request. The people, assembled in their town 
meeting, declared it to be their desire " that they 
may be by themselves [so] as to maintain one 

* Originally published by Mr. Heroy, in his Historical Discourse, 
and reprinted in the revised edition of the History of Westchester 
County, by the late Rev. Robert Bolton, vol. I.', pp. 46, 47. 

f " Eastchester, having an Independent minister, endeavoured at 
my coming to make themselves a distinct parish." — Mr. Bartow to 
the G. P. S., May 25, 1703. (History of the Prot. Episc. Church 
in Westchester Co., p. 22.) 


among themselves : and their desire is that they 
may be clear from ye former act of ye assembly of 
being joyned to Rye and Memerinock ; and the 
town doth desire Mr. Jacobus van Cortlandt to 
present their desire and pertision to the Generall 
Assembly and ye town is willing to satisfie sd 
Cortland for his trouble." * These efforts had 
been vain. The shrewd rector of Westchester 
wrote home to England : " There have been great 
endeavours made this session to annul that Act ; 
but we are safe as long as my Lord Cornbury is 
governor." f Bedford was destined to remain a 
part of the parish of Rye until the Revolution. 
The people, however, found it difficult to accept 
the situation gracefully. Upon the arrival of Mr. April 
Pritchard, J to " take possession of this portion 
of his benefice," § they displayed a stubborn and 
unmanageable spirit truly astounding. Young 
Benjamin Wright, and Mr. John Thomson, gentle- 
man, of London, lately removed from Stamford 
into this place, testify under oath, that all their 
endeavours to prevail with the inhabitants to en- 
courage Mr. Pritchard have been fruitless. Zach- 
ariah Roberts, the justice of the peace, is es 

* Town Records of Bedford. 

f History of the Prot. Episc. Church in Westchester Co., p. 13 

% The Rev. Thomas Pritchard was sent in 1704, by the Society 
for the Propagation of the Gospel in Foreign Parts, to be its mis. 
sionary at Rye, Westchester Co., N. Y. His brief ministry ended 
deplorably in March or April of the next year. (Bolton, History 
of the P. E. Church in Westchester Co., p. 146.) 

§ Id., p. 619. 


17 ° 5 ' pecially violent in his opposition. He refuses to 
take any affidavits in behalf of the Church of Eng- 
land, the Queen, and the government of New 
York. He has procured the passage of an act, at 
the town meeting, enjoining upon the people not 
to pay Mr. Pritchard anything. As for Mr. Jones, 
he preaches with great bitterness, referring in 
terms far from complimentary to the Church of 
England, and the government of New York ; and 
winding up his diatribe by saying to his congrega- 
tion, " Ye may tell'em so at York, for that he 
did not care for my Lord the Governor." As for 
the people, the greatest part of them are ripe for 
rebellion.* All this was very disturbing ; and we 

* The affidavits of Benjamin Wright and John Thomson are 
printed in the Documentary History of New York, vol. III., pp. 
933. 4> 5- For the following papers, not before published, from 
the Colonial Manuscripts in the office of the Secretary of State, 
Albany, I am indebted to the accomplished and obliging curator, 
Mr. Berthold P^ernow. 

John Tomson and Benjamin Wright both of Competent Age Tes- 
tify that they have been sore oppressed with the continuall reflec- 
tions of Mr. John Jones in his Preaching in Bedford Continually 
reflecting against the Church of England's present Government that 
he cares not for the said Church nor my Lord that he cares not for 
anything but to get away what they have for taxes ye said Jones and 
Robarts are very dangerous men Against the Church and Govern- 
ment and that the said Jones do persist in Continuall reflections as 
aforesaid Saying Come out of her my people least ye partake of 
her plauges With Continuall reflections against the Church of 
England . . . that they are in a dangerous Government where 
they do not pray nor serve God and that the said Jones do 
and wou'd Preach Reprobation in defiance of Principalities and 
Powers that they should tell them at Yorke that he wou'd do so 
and that he wou'd burne the [books of the] Church of England 



are not surprised to learn that the offending jus- g'Sa- 
tice and Minister were called to account for their 
conduct before the governor and council. Mr. 
Jones was required to give surety for his appear- 
ance, and Zachariah Roberts was remanded into 
the custody of the sheriff of the city, till the next 
session of the Supreme Court of the province. f 

Especially those that was broug'ht from Colonel Heathcote and 
that the friends of the Church wou'd desire the Reverend Mr. 
Pritchard to come there to preach but cannot prevaile whereby 
some of them are forced to quitt the place for feare of damage to 
their Bodys being made so vnhappy and vneasy thereby, that the 
greatest parte of the Inhabitants are ripe or ready for Rebellion 
abundantly more than is here Expressed. John Thomson. 

Benjamin Wright. 
(X. Y. Colonial MSS., vol. L, f. 75.) 

f The Depositions of John Thompson and Benjamin Wright of 
Bedford ag c one John Jones a Dissenting Minister of Bedford for 
speaking severall Irreverant Words agt the Church of England and 
many seditious words agt the Government being read, the s d Jones 
was Called into the Councill Chamber and the said Depositions be- 
ing likewise read to him and he not having given sufficient satisfac. 
tion thereon to this Board it is Ordered that the s d Jn° Jones w** 1 
sufficient sureties enter into recognizance for ^25. — . — to appear 
at the next Supreame Court to l>e held for the Province to answer such 
things as shall be alleged in behalf of her Maj tie . 

The depositions of the s c l Thompson and Wright agt Zachariah 
Roberts of the same place a Justice of y e Peace for severall illegall 
and unwarrantable practices being read and the s d Roberts being 
Called in to the Councill Chamber to whom the s d Depositions 
were likewise read and he having given no satisfactory answers 
thereon to this Board it is ordered, that the s d Zachariah Roberts 
remain in the hands of the Sherriffe of the Citty and County of New 
Yorke till the next Supream Court to be held for the P.ovince 
there to answer such things as shall be brought and objected 
agt him in behalfe of Our Sovereigne Lady y e Queen. 

(Council Minutes, ix., p. 51S (May Sth, 1705). 


I7 ° 5 ' His apprehensions of interference on the part of 

the government fully realized, Mr. Jones left Bed- 
ford in 1705."* And now the people, perhaps hop- 
ing to be allowed the exercise of their right under 
the Act of 1693, applied to the governor for leave 
to settle a Minister of their own choosing, f Lord 
Cornbury delayed answering the petition until he 
could consult the new missionary at Rye, as incum- 
bent of the parish that included Bedford. This 
was Mr. Muirson £ — " an abdicated Scotch Jaco- 
bite parson," as a writer of the period styles him 
— " obtruded upon " the Bedford people, and " that 
insults intolerably over them."§ Mr. Muirson's 
opinion of the Bedford people was not more flat- 
2 2 I7 May # tering than this opinion of him. " Every fourth 
Sunday I preach at Bedford," he writes home to 
the Gospel Propagation Society, " and I am afraid 
without success, for they are a very wilful, stub- 
born people." Each of these statements, how- 

* " Lately an Independent minister hath removed out of it." 
(Rev. George Muirson, 21 Nov., 1705. Bolton, History of the P. 
E. Church in Westchester Co., p. 151.) 

f Webster, History of the Presb. Church in America, p. 335. 

J The Rev. George Muirson was sent over in 1705 to succeed 
Mr. Pritchard at Rye. He died there, 12 Oct., 1708. 

§ " The late petition of Bedford for calling a Minister, is not yet 
answered, until an abdicated Scotch Jacobite Parson, obtruded 
upon them, that insults intollerably over them, is consulted with." 
— A Narrative of a New and Unusual Imprisonment of Two Pres- 
byterian Ministers, and Prosecution of Mr. Francis Mak'emie, for 
preaching One Sermon in the City of New York.— Epistle to the 

1 Bolton, History of the P. E. Church in Westchester Co., p. 166. 



ever, must be taken with some allowance. Mr. I7 ° 6 - 
Muirson was really a laborious and self-sacrificing 
Minister, faithful to his convictions of duty; whose 
death, at the early age of thirty-three, was has- 
tened by his fatigues and privations in his Master's 
service. And the Bedford people may certainly 
be pardoned for some degree of " stubbornness ' 
at the time. Dissatisfied with their recent change 
of government, and chafing under Lord Cornbury's 
brutal rule, they could have been in no mood to 
submit to that which they regarded as an unwar- 
rantable intrusion upon their rights of conscience. 
Nor do they seem to have flinched in after days 
from the decided stand thus taken. A quarter of *73*. 
a century later, they still had the name of being 
" the most rigid and severe of all the Dissenters,"* 
in this region of so-called Dissent. The fact is, 
they were simply very thorough and inveterate 

They were Presbyterians, that is, in the larger 
sense in which that name was used from the begin- 
ning among the Connecticut churches. No pres- 
bytery, indeed, had yet been organized in America, 
at the time when this town was founded. But the 
ecclesiastical system that prevailed in Connecticut 
was one that bore a close affinity with the Presby- 
terian order, and that was frequently designated, 
even at a very early day, as Presbyterian. 

The commissioners sent by Charles II. to Con- 
necticut were instructed to inform themselves of 

* Bolton, History of the P. E. Church in Westchester Co., p. 256. 


2 3 1 Aprii. ^ ie ^ u ^ difference between the people of that 
colony and those of Massachusetts ; the king con- 
ceiving " those of Conecticott to contrive them- 
selves under the most rigid Presbiterian Govern- 
ment."* The commissioners' report confirmed this 

i 4 December, impression. " For the most part they are rigid 
Presbyterians." f The principal friends and 
patrons of this colony in England, from the be- 
ginning, and many of those who came over to 
settle here, were avowed Presbyterians.;}; A tend- 
ency that became more and more pronounced, 
and that resulted in the formation and adoption of 
the Saybrook Platform, was apparent at a very 
early day.§ 

20 se'ptfmber. Under the Saybrook Platform, which, according 
to Dr. Hodge, comes very little short of Presby- 
terianism, the Consociation ■" possessed substan- 
tially the same authority as Presbytery." The 
fundamental principle by which Congregationalism 
is distinguished from Presbyterianism, is " that 
every local congregation of believers ... is a com- 
plete church, and not to be subject in government 

* Documents relating to the Colonial History of the State of New 
York, Vol. III., p. 55. 

f Calendar of State Papers, Colonial Series, 1661-1668 ; p. 341. 

% The Constitutional History of the Presbyterian Church in the 
United States of America, by Charles Hodge, D.D., part I., pp. 

3i» 34- 

§ Historical Discourse, etc., by Leonard Bacon, D.D., pp. 15, 
seq. — " Most of the Puritans who went over to New England were 
attached to a species of Presbyterianism, rather than to Independ- 
ency." — Orme's Life of Owen ; quoted in the " Presbyterian Quar- 
terly Review," vol. VII., p. 433, note. 



to any ecclesiastical authority outside of itself."* 
Clearly recognizing this principle, the Hartford 
North Association, comprising some of the lead- 
ing Ministers of Connecticut, declared in 1799, 
"that the constitution of the churches" in that 
State, "founded on the common usages, and the 
Confession of Faith, Heads of Agreement, and 
Articles of Church Discipline, adopted at the ear- 
liest period of the settlement of that State, is not 
Congregational^ but contains the essentials of the 
government of the Church of Scotland, or Presby- 
terian Church in America, particularly as it gives 
a decisive power to ecclesiastical councils ; and a 
Consociation, consisting of Ministers and messen- 
gers, or a lay representative from the churches, is 
possessed of substantially the same authority as 
Presbytery.^ . . . The churches therefore in Con- 

* Rev. A. S. Quint, D.D., in Cyclopaedia of Biblical, Theological, 
and Ecclesiastical Literature, vol. II a , p. 475. 

+ Dr. Bellamy (1744) held that a church receiving the Saybrook 
Platform departed from Congregational principles. — (Bellamy 
Papers, MS.). 

\ The following illustrations may be given, from the minutes of 
the Eastern Consociation of Fairfield County: — In 1746, the Conso- 
ciation " pronounce the awful sentence of Excommunication "upon 
a member of a church under their care. In 1759, at the desire of 
" a considerable number of ye society/' they dismiss the pastor of 
a congregation. In 1763, rhe church in Danbury dissenting from 
the Saybrook Platform, declaring itself a Congregational church, 
and refusing to submit to the jurisdiction of any Consociated au- 
thority, the Consociation resolve that they have the right of jurisdic. 
tion, notwithstanding the doings and votes of said church. Occa- 
sionally the Consociation is designated in these minutes, as "the 



1708. necticut at large, and in our district in particular, 
are not now, and never were, from the earliest 
period of our settlement, Congregational churches, 
according to the ideas and forms of church order 
contained in the Book of Discipline called the Cam- 
bridge Platform. There are, however, scattered 
over the State, perhaps ten or twelve churches 
[unconsociated] which are properly called Con- 

Thus there was much to justify the usage in 
accordance with which, from early times, and 
down to a period comparatively recent, the 
churches of Connecticut have been familiarly 
styled Presbyterian. Such, at all events, was 
the designation of the Bedford church from the 
beginning.* It is to be presumed that under the 
Saybrook Platform this congregation came under 
the care of the Association of Fairfield County ; 
for though in a political sense ceded to the prov- 
ince of New York, B.edford continued until about 
the year 1720 to be regarded from the Connecti- 
cut point of view as belonging, ecclesiastically, to 
the parish of Stamford ;f and it is reasonable to 

* " There is a Presbyterian preacher at Bedford " (Rev. Robert 
Jenney, of Rye : 1722). " There are three meeting houses in the 
parish, one at Bedford, built for, and used by the Presbyterians." 
" At Bedford they have had a Presbyterian minister " (Rev. James 
Wetmore, of Rye : 1728). Bolton, History of the P. E. Church 
in Westchester Co., pp. 222, 249. 

f Huntington, History of Stamford, Conn., p. 145. The records 
of Fairfield County Association, for this period, unfortunately, do 
not exist. 


suppose that during the long period of destitution 
that intervened, the Ministers at Stamford offici- 
ated, at least occasionally, in the " meeting house " 
at Bedford. 

For fifteen years after the removal of Mr. Jones x 7°5 
from Bedford, the town was without a resident x 7 2 °- 
Minister. Failing in their appeal to the Assembly, 
and finding resistance to the governor's arbitrary 
rule useless, the people gave up the struggle, and 
submitted to a wrong which was not to be re- 
dressed while the colonial government lasted. 
They were taxed year by year for the support of 
the Church of England missionary at Rye, twenty 
miles off; the constable of the town being required 
to collect the quota assessed upon this part of the 
missionary's " parish," and pay the amount in half- 
yearly instalments to the church-wardens. Occa- 
sionally, too, a special assessment was added for 
the completion of the church at Rye, and the re- 
pair of the Minister's house.** Compelled to carry 
this load, the people of Bedford appear to have 
felt for several years that it would be impossible to 
bear the expense of supporting also a ministry of 

* The Records of the Vestry show that from the year 1711 — 
when the Records begin — to the year 1 719, the average yearly 
amount levied upon the town of Bedford, as its quota toward the 
salary of the missionary at Rye, and other expenses of the parish 
(including " Beating the Drum ") was ^11,8, I. From 1722 to 
to 1731 the average amount was £13, 6, 11. From 1732 to 1740, 
,£14, 12, 1. From 1741 to 1750, ^20, io, 8. From 1750 to 1760, 
^"22, 2, 7. From 1760 to 177Q, ^"47, 5, 9. From 1770 to 1776, 
^99, 18, 11. 


their own* Perhaps they may have been sustained 
by the hope that an opportunity to escape from 
this oppressive yoke might present itself. Such 
an opportunity came at last, as they thought, in 
the year 1719, upon the death of Mr. Bridge,t the 
2 2 I7 Ma third rector of Rye. A vacancy of three years fol- 
lowed. During this vacancy the " Minister's rate " 
remained ungathered throughout the parish ; and 
the inhabitants of Rye, " being for the most part 
such as were desirous of having a dissenting 
teacher settled " there,;}: took occasion, in the ex- 
ercise of their supposed rights, to invite a Pres- 
byterian Minister to their church. This Minister 
was the Reverend Stephen Buckingham, who was 
called to Rye early in the year I720,§ and remained 
for more than two years. || It was at the same 

* " The people there are very poor, and incapable to maintain two 
differing ministers." This was said in 1722 of the people of Rye : 
it was doubtless equally true of the people of Bedford. (Bolton, 
History of the Prot. Episc. Church in Westchester Co., p. 214.) 

f The Rev. Christopher Bridge was inducted Rector of the 
Parish of Rye, 17 October, 1710, and died in that office 22 May, 

% History of the Prot. Episc. Church in Westchester Co., p. 221. 

§ " They have resolved to call one Mr. Buckingham, a Dissenting 
minister, and have accordingly sent to acquaint him with it," — Mr. 
Poyer to the G. P. Society, 11 Feb., 1719-20. (Id., p. 212.) 

I " The want of a missionary so long at Rye has introduced a 
dissenter to build his -nest there. " Mr. Thomas to the G. P. So- 
ciety, 20 April, 1722. " There is a Presbyterian preacher at Bed- 
ford, and there was another at Rye, when I came here." Mr. 
Jenney to the G. P. Society, 15 Dec, 1722. (Id., pp. 213, 222.) 
The Rev. Robert Jenney, Mr. Bridge's successor, came to Rye in 
June, 1722. 



time, and by concert of action, doubtless, with the 
people of Rye, that the inhabitants of Bedford 
called to their town that eminent man whose name 
is intimately associated with the early history of 
Presbyterianism and of evangelical religion in this 
country, the Reverend WILLIAM TENNENT.* 

It was probably under Mr. Tennent's ministry 1720 
that this church came for" the first time under the 1727. 
care of a Presbytery. A clergyman of the Irish 
Episcopal Church, he had removed to America 
less than two years before, and had joined the 
Synod of Philadelphia, upon giving his reasons 
for dissenting from the doctrines and practices of 
prelacy. After preaching for eighteen months in 
East Chester, New York, he came to Bedford. He 3 I Ma y . 
was now forty-eight years old ; and his four sons, 
Gilbert, William, John, and Charles, were youths 
nine to seventeen years of age. Bedford has no 

* Bom v\ Ireland about 1672. Ordained deacon 1 July, 1 704, 
and priest 22 Sept., 1706, by the Bishop of Down. Married in the 
County of Down, Ireland, 15 May, 1702, to Catharine, daughter of 
Rev. Gilbert Kennedy, of Ayrshire, Scotland. Arrived in Phila- 
delphia 6 Sept., 1718. Admitted a member of the Synod of Phila- 
delphia 17 Sept., 1 718. Settled in the parish of East Chester, N. 
Y., 22 Nov., 1718. Removed to Bedford, N. Y., 3 May, 1720. Re- 
moved to Neshaminy, Bucks Co., Penn., in 1726 or 1727'. Continued 
pastor of the church in that place until 1742. Died in Neshaminy, 
6 May. 1745. His widow died in Philadelphia, 7 May, 1753, aged 
seventy years. " His tombstone, in the graveyard of Neshaminy 
Church, incorrectly gives the date of his death as May 6, 1746. It 
should be 1745." History of Neshaminy Presbyterian Church of 
Warwick, Hartsville, Bucks County, Pa., 1726-1876. By Rev. D. 
K. Turner. Philadelphia : 1876. Page 65. 



1720 more interesting association than that of the pres- 
to o r 

J 7 2 7- ence of this remarkable family within its precincts. 
Their home was in the northeastern part of the 
town, at " Cantito," the region since illustrated by 
the residence of the honoured John Jay. Here a 
farm was laid out for the new Minister, at the time 
of his coming, in the common lands between the 
Cisco and Cross rivers ; and an additional tract of 
twenty-three acres on the eastern side of the 
" former bounds " was given him five years later. 
We follow in imagination the father and the sons 
in their labours upon this rude farm, their wan- 
derings through the forest in pursuit of the game 
with which the region still abounded, and their 
Sabbath day's journey of five miles to the " meet- 
ing house " on the village green. 

Mr. Tennent's stay in Bedford has been hitherto 
represented as very brief — covering a few months, 
or at the most, a year.* But from the references 
to his ministry which I have discovered in the 
records of this town, as well as in those of the 
adjoining town of Stamford, -f I am able to 

* The General Assembly's Missionary Magazine, May, 1805 (vol. 
II.) — Biographical Sketches of the Founder and Principal Alumni 
of the Log College. Collected and edited by A. Alexander, D.D., 
Princeton, N. J., 1845, pp. 20, 22. — Annais of the American Pulpit, 
vol. III., p. 24. 

f At a Town meetingin Stamford, Conn., 25 Dec, 1722, "the 
request of James White of y e Long Ridg and y e rest of his neigh- 
bours concerning their minister's rate Desiring the Liberty of pay- 
ing so much money as they are obliged to pay to y e minister's rate 
in this town, to y e minister in Bedford " was granted " to y m and 
y e Inhabitants of y e Chestnut Ridg namely Dibble Conkling and 



show that he continued to be the pastor of this J \l° 
church for more than six years — from the I72? - 
first of May, 1720, at least to the latter part of 
August, 1726. 

Our information regarding the early years of 
Tennent's ministry in America is very scanty and 
unsatisfactory. The dates of his arrival in Phila- 
delphia, his settlement in East Chester, New York, 
and his removal to Bedford, are known. * It has 
been generally supposed that from Bedford he went 
in 1721 or 1722 to Bensalem, in Pennsylvania, 
where he continued until the year 1726. During 
this time, however, he was almost uniformly absent 
from the sessions of the Synod of Philadelphia, 
sometimes sending by letter reasons for his ab- 
sence, which were sustained. This fact would 
seem inexplicable, upon the hypothesis that Ten- 
nent was then preaching in Bensalem, within twenty 
miles of Philadelphia.f It is now certain that he 

Corey upon this consideration that they bring a note from under 
y e hand of y e Reverend Mr. Tenants, that they have paid the same 
to him before y e next town meeting." At a Town meeting, 11 
Dec., 1723, the town " grants y e same liberty to y e inhabitants of 
ye Long Ridg and ye Chestnut Ridg of paying their ministers rate 
to Bedford as was granted y e last year they bringing from under 
M r Tenants hand that they have paid y e s d taxes to Bedford." 
(Town Records of Stamford, Conn., Book No. 2, pp. 141, 142.) 
The same permission was given in December, 1724 and 1725. 

* Memoranda in the hand- writing of Mr. Tennent, quoted by Dr. 
Alexander, Log College, pp. 248, 249, note. 

•(•"It is not probable that the History of Log College is cor- 
rect in stating that Mr. Tennent was in Bensalem from 1721 to 
1726, for during that time a pastor of another name, a Dutch min- 


j 72o remained in Bedford until the latter part of 
x ^7- August, 1726: and it would seem probable that 
his removal to Neshaminy may not have occurred 
before the following spring or summer* 

The references to Mr. Tennent in the town 
records of Bedford are numerous, and their tone 
implies that he was held in very high considera- 
tion. It is evident from the action taken by the 
people on several occasions that they were exceed- 
ingly anxious to retain him as their Minister. Be- 
sides his salary of forty pounds, made up by volun- 
tary contributions, and collected by a committee 
of the " society/' he received repeated grants of 
land, amounting in all to several hundred acres. 
But the support was meagre, at best ; and with a 

ister, had charge of the Bensalem Church, at least two or three 
years. At what time exactly Mr. Tennent came to Neshaminy is 
doubtful; but his absence from the Synod at Philadelphia seven 
years out of eight, from 1719 to 1727, being present only in 1721, 
would indicate that he did not reside in Pennsylvania ; for from 
1727 to 1741, when he left the Synod and joined the New Bruns- 
wick Presbytery, he was present at the meetings of Synod every year 
but one. He was absent in 1735. It is probable, therefore, that he 
did not come to Pennsylvania to reside permanently till 1726, when 
he came to Neshaminy. " — History of Neshaminy Presbyterian 
Church, page 11, note. 

* That Mr. Tennent's removal from Bedford to Neshaminy may 
not have occurred before the spring of 1727, would appear probable, 
from the fact that he was still absent from the Synod of Philadelphia 
in September, 1726; from the allusion to his departure, in the cor- 
respondence of the Rev. James Wetmore, of Rye, in 1728, as of re- 
cent occurrence ; and from the date (1727) of the erection of the 
first house of worship in Neshaminy. (History of Neshaminy 
Church, page 13.) 



large family to provide for, he found it necessary 8 No T ^ ber 
at length to depart. Perhaps the last appropria- 
tion of land to Mr. Tennent, in November, 1725, 
may have been made with the hope of altering his 
determination. What the result might have been, 
if this eminent servant of God could have remained 
with his attached people, and if from this centre the 
Gospel as preached by him and by his gifted sons 
could have sounded out through this region, it is in- 
teresting to conjecture. But the oppressive course 
of the colonial government, in taxing the town for 
the benefit of the Church of England, prevented 
the people from adequately supporting the minis- 
try of their own choice. During the latter years 
of Mr. Tennent's stay in Bedford, this " precinct " 
of the " parish of Rye " was again assessed for the 
salary of the Anglican missionary in that place. 
If they had hoped for relief from this exaction 
after Mr. Bridge's death, in 1719, the people were 
soon to be disappointed. In 1722, the Justices 
and Vestry were required, by the new rector * to 
raise the money due for the past three years, and 
pay it over to the church wardens. Upon their 
refusal, Mr. Jenney procured a writ of mandamus 
to compel payment. The following receipt, which 
has been preserved by one of the old families of the 

* The Rev. Robert Jenney was appointed in 1722 by the Gospel 
Propagation Society to be its Missionary at Rye. In 1726 he removed 
to Hempstead, L. I., and thence in 1 742 to Philadelphia, where he 
was for twenty years rector of Christ Church. He died 5 Jan., 
1762, aged seventy-five years. 



1726. town,* relates to the period of Mr. Tennent's min- 
istry, and testifies to one of the grievances under 
which the Presbyterians of Bedford suffered during 
the colonial times : 

"Rec d y e first of Aprill 1726 from Richard 
Holmes Constable of Bedford for 1724, Eleven 
pounds Sixteen shilling with his Collection for y e 
Ministrs Rate that year, in full of his warrant I 
say Re d p r me. JOHN HORTON."f 

As every trace of Mr. Tennent's residence in 
Bedford must be of interest to the members of 
this church, I transcribe here from the records of 
the town the grants of land made to him, together 
with the conveyances which he executed upon his 
departure from the place. 

We whose names are under written being Inhabitants 
of y e Town of Bedford in Westchester County in y e 
province of New York & being y e propriators of old 
purchas and Cohomong purchas in y e Township aforesd 
doe give grant alienate 8c make over unto y e Re d 
M r William Tenant his heirs & assignes for ever all that 
fourteen acres of land in the East field on y e north side 

* The family of the late John C. Holmes. 

•)• John Horton was one of the church-wardens of the parish 
church of Rye, in 1724. — The constables did not always perform 
this function of their office with a good grace. In 1730, the Justices 
and Vestry of Rye ordered and empowered the church-wardens " to 
prosecute immediately the Constables of Bedford and of the Man- 
nour of Scarsdale, who are behind of paying in y e parish Rate." 
(Records of Vestry.) 


of a way & joyning to y e land of Thomas Chambers east x 7*** 
& north the said M r Tennant relinquishing his right to 
fourteen acres of land that is to be laid out in y e first 
hundred acres to be laid out to him by virtue of a grant 
from Joseph Holmes & Jonathan Miller juner &c as 
witness our hands this first day of March annoq e 172-I- 
Jonathan Miller Cornelius Seely Joshua Jones Thomas 
Wescot Daniel Holly Nathan Clark Hezekiah Roberts 
Richard Waring Zac h Mills Jonathan Miller Stephen 
Miller Jonathan Holmes Joseph Holmes James Chambers 
David Holmes 

At a Town meeting held at Bedford this 4 th day of 
April 1 72 1 this above subscription voted & confirmed 
Recorded by me Zac h Mills Cler 

At a meeting of y e propriators of y e old & Cohomong 
purchases in y e Township of Bedford voted that ye Rever- 
end M r William Tenant shall have his hundred acres of 
land y e remainder of land mentioned in his deed laid out 
forthwith by y e Towns Comittee not exceeding two 
peices voted this 21 st day of February 1721 

Recorded p r Zac h Mills Cler 

The Comitee appointed by y e Sosiaty of Bedford for 
y e measuring of lands appertaining to y e abovsd Town 
have measured and laid out the subsequent parcel of land 
in favours of y e Reve d William Tennant in Bedford in 
maner following — The norwest corner by y e road to y e 
fishing pools bounded by a red oak tree upon y e old 
purchas line runing southerly 24 rods to a black oak tree 
upon Joshua Hills bounds marked with a heap of stones 
about it from thence runing easterly 56 rods to a white 
oak tree upon Joshua Hills northeast bounds marked 
thence northerly by y e space of 16 rodds to a white oak 
tree marked upon y e old purchase bounds thence runing 


I?22 - westerly 56 rodds to y e first tree from y e white oak upon 
y e old purchas line above specified runing easterly 168 
rodd [to ? ] a swamp white oak marked upon y e old 
purchas bounds thence runing westerly 120 rodds to red 
oak marked thence runing northerly 216 rods to a white 
oak tree at Joshua Hills northeast corner thence to y e 
place of begining 16 rods from y e above mentioned swamp 
white oak tree at y e swamps side runing westerly 40 rodds 
to a white oake tree marked thence northerly to a walnut 
stadle w* a heap of stones about it thence easterly 40 
.rodds y e contents of w c is 80 [acres ?] Signed by us 
March y e 20 th annodom 172^ John Miller Joseph Holmes 
Jonathan Miller 

Recorded April y e 20 th 1722 p r Zac h Mills Cler 
The Commitee appointed by y e socity of Bedford for 
y e measuring of lands appertaining to y e abovsd Town 
have measured and laid y e following peice of land for y e 
Reverend William Tennant in Bedford as below specified 
y e norwest corner bounded by a black oak tree extending 
easterly 40 rodds to a white oak tree upon y e old purchas 
bounds thence runing sutherly 93 rodds to a drie white 
oak tree thence westerly 39 rodds to a chesnut tree marked 
thence northerly 100 rodd to y e place of begining y e con- 
tents of which is 20 acres Signed by us April y e 13 th 
annoq dom 1722 John Miller Zac h Mills Joseph Holmes 
Jonathan Miller 

Recorded Aprill y e 20 th 1722 p r Zac h Mills Cler 
Bedford November y e 8 th 1725 Then laid out to y e 
Reverend M r William Tenant 2^ acres of land sised 
[sized] for 18 acres begining at y e southeast corner of sd 
M r Tenents fence at Cantito thence to run easterly 32 
rods to y e edge of a swamp thence northerly 26 rods to 
a stake being William Hills northwest corner bounds 


thence easterly 28 rod to a stake being William Hills J ^ 2S ' 
northeast corner bounds thence along y e rode northerly 
to a white oak tree marked 3 thence westerly 74 rods to 
y e corner of sd fence thence south to y e place of begin- 
ing & also three acres to y e southward of y e land [of] 
Benjamin Kellum adjoyning to his own land begin ing at 
a white oak stadle marked being sd M r Tenants former 
bounds thence running northerly to a walnut stadle 
marked 20 rods thence westerly 24 rods to a red oak 
stadle marked thence southerly 24 rods to a stake thence 
easterly 24 rods to y e place of begining laid out by us 
Joseph Holmes Zac h Mills Comitee 

Recorded y e date abovsd p r Zac h Mills Cler 
This Indenture made this sixteenth day of August in 
y e thirteenth year of y e reign of our sovereign lord George 
by y e grace of God of Great Brittain France and Ireland 
King defender of y e faith &c and in y e year of our Lord 
Jesus Christ one thousand seven hundred twenty & six 
& between the Reverend M r William Tenant of Bedford 
in Westchester County in y e Colony of New York of y e 
one part and Isaac Quintard of Stanford in Fairfield 
County in ye Colony of Conecticut merchant of y e other 
part witnesseth that y e abovsd William Tenant for & in 
consideration of y e sum of forty pounds currant money 
of New York to him in hand paid by y e abovsd Isaac 
Quintard. . . . have sold. . . unto ye abovsd Isaac 
Quintard. . . one parcel or lot of land at a place called 
Bateses Ridg containing by estimation thirteen acres 
. . . . and also three acres of land adjoyning to said 
land . . . and also one other parcel of land at a place 
called Kellums Ridg containing by estimation twenty 
acres. . . . To have and to hold [etc.] 

William Tenant. 


1726. This Indenture made this twenty-third day of August 

. . . . in y e year of our Lord Christ one thousand 
seven hundred twenty & six & between y e Reverend 
M r William Tenant of Bedford in Westchester County in 
y e Colony of New York of y e one part and Hezekiah 
Roberts & Theophilus Kellum of y e abovsd town, County 
& Colony yeo n of y e other part witnesseth that y e abovsd 
William Tennant for & in consideration of the sum of 
one hundred twenty & two pounds currant money of New 

York. . . have sold unto y e abovsd Theophilus 

Kellum & Hezekiah Roberts. . . all these several parcels 
of land hereafter exprest in y e bounds of y e abovsd Bed- 
ford at a place called Cantito & bounded as followeth one 
lot is bounded ye northwest corner by y e rode to y e fishing 
falls. . . . and also one other pelce of land. . . . laid 
out for eighty acres. . . and also one other peice of land 
laid out for forty-three acres. . . and also one other peice 
of land laid out for three acres. ... To have and to hold 
[etc.] Signed & sealed in the presence of us Will Bradford 
Gilbert Tennant 

William Tennant. 

These presents witnesseth that M rs Cathrin Tenant wife 
to y e within M r William Tennant doth. . . . make over 
all her right title interest claim or demand to ye within 
devised premises. . . to y e abovsd Hezekiah Roberts & 
Theophilus Kellum [etc.] Sealed & delivered in presence 
of Zach Mills John Tennant.* 

* Town Records of Bedford, vol. II., pp. 69, 73, 95, 116, 105. 

Other parcels of land, which remained in Mr. Tennent's posses- 
sion, were after his decease conveyed by his son Gilbert to the 
trustees of the Presbyterian Church of Bedford. 

May 16, 1749. Gilbert Tennent of Philadelphia in the Colony 


It is with no small satisfaction that I adduce this *g° 
evidence, to establish the fact that Bedford was for I?27 ' 
so long a period the home and parish of William 
Tennent. " The Presbyterian Church/' says Dr. 
Alexander, " is probably not more indebted for her 
prosperity, and for the evangelical spirit which has 
generally pervaded her body, to any individual, 
than to the elder Tennent." We cannot doubt 
that his preaching and holy living, and the examples 
of piety furnished by his family, made an abiding 
impression upon this community. The dates given 
in the scanty traditional accounts of Tennent's life 
and the lives of his sons, are so confusing, that we 
cannot speak positively of the events that may 
have occurred within these seven years spent in 
Bedford. But it seems highly probable that dur- 
ing this period, Gilbert, the elder son, pursued his 

of Pennsylvania, Gentleman : Son of and heir at law unto Rev. 
WilUam Tennent formerly of Bedford in Westchester County in 
the Colony of New York, but lately of Neshamina in the Colony 
of Pensilvania, Deceased, for the promoting and supporting of the 
gospel of Jesus Christ according and under the Presbyterian Dis- 
cipline in the above said Bedford — gave to John Holmes, John 
Miller and Zebediah Mills, trustees, and their successors, several 
pieces of land, formerly possessed by his Reverend Father, for the 

use and support of the ministry viz., one house and home 

lot containing by estimation about ten acres : two lots in the east 
field containing eight acres each : one piece on the south side of 
Mahanus River, containing by estimation twelve acres ; three acres 
on a plain called South Plain : one acre and a quarter in a meadow 
called Theal's meadow: one and a half acre in a meadow called 
David's Hill meadow : two acres and a half in a meadow called 
the great meadow, &c, &c. 


studies for the holy ministry under his father's care, 
and began to preach the Gospel ; that William, 
the second son, while visiting his brother Gilbert in 
New Brunswick, had that marvellous trance, the 
recollection of which lives in the Christian mind 
to this day; and that John, the third son, passed 
through the remarkable religious experiences of 
which his brother has left us so graphic an ac- 
1728. " At Bedford they have had a Presbyterian min- 

20 February. . ,,. -h/tttt r t-» 

ister, writes Mr. Wetmore of Rye, not long after 
Mr. Tennent's departure. " They gave him a 
house and farm to work upon, and forty pounds 
per annum. But finding it not sufficient to sup- 
port him with a numerous family, he has left them, 
and they are now settled with another young man, 
to whom they give the same allowance. "f This 
young man, Tennent ,cl successor, was HENRY 
BALDWIN, the son of Barnabas Baldwin, of Mil- 
ford, Connecticut.^: He was graduated at Yale 
College, in 1726,% and came to Bedford soon after 

* Biographical Sketches of the Founder and Principal Alumni 
of the Log College. Together with an Account of the Revivals of 
Religion under their Ministry. Collected and Edited by A. Alex- 
ander, D.D. — Princeton, N. J., 1845 5 PP- 129-133. 

f History of the Prot. Episc. Church in Westchester Co., N.Y., 
by R. Bolton, p. 249. 

\ Baptized 14 June., 1702. — The Baldwin Genealogy from 1500 
to 1881. By Charles Candee Baldwin, M.A. — Cleveland, O., 1881. 

§ It can scarcely be doubted that this Henry Baldwin is the per- 
son so named in Yale College Catalogue ; though, if our presump- 
tion be correct, the Catalogue is in error in giving the date of his 
decease as 1727. 


Tennent's removal.* The following minute, which j^uu-y. 
has just come to light, contains the only trace of 
his ministry here that we have been able to dis- 
cover, in confirmation of Mr. Wetmore's state- 
ment : 

" Att a Sociaty meeting Aprill ye seventh in . 
y e year of our Lord Christ one thousand seven 
Hundred and twenty eight then was chose by said 
Sociaty Vincent Simkins and Richard Holms in 
order for y e collecting, and gathering of y e salary of 
Mr Henry Baldwin wich is Raised by said sociaty 
and payable ye seventeenth of January next after 
y e date here of and only for this year above said 
collected by them."f 

It is not known how long Mr. Baldwin contin- 
ued in this charge. He died before May, 1740, 
leaving no issue.;}: His successor was ROBERT 
STURGEON, a native of Scotland, who is said to 
have been settled here for twelve years.§ He had 
been Minister of the church in Wilton, Connecti- 
cut, from 1726 to 1732,! and he probably came to 

* The minute cited above intimates that the year for which the 
salary was due would terminate 17 Jan., 1729. It commenced 
therefore in 1728. 

f The original of this interesting document is in the possession 
of Mrs. John C. Holmes, who has kindly communicatee! it to me : 
thus enabling me to supply another link in the succession of the 
Bedford ministry. 

\ Baldwin Genealogy. 

§ President Stiles' Papers ; quoted by Webster, History of the 
Presbyterian Church in America, p. 492. 

1 Contributions to the Eccl. History of Conn., p. 508. 


I732, Bedford directly after leaving that place. On the 
twenty-fifth day of March, 1736, Jonathan Miller, 
of Bedford, sold to Robert Sturgeon, clerk, of the 
same place, ten acres of land in Bedford, for the 
sum of fifty pounds.* 

1743. Sturgeon was followed in 1743 by SAMUEL 

12 October. ° # ' ^ u J 

Sacket, a laborious and successful Minister, whose 
pastorate continued for ten years. His successor 
was ELIPHALET Ball, who was installed on the 
second day of January, 1754, and remained in office 
fourteen years. After him came SAMUEL MILLS, 
installed in December, 1769, and released from his 
charge in May, 1786. 

The period covered by these long pastorates, was 
one of agitation and disorder, both in Church and in 
State. We shall have space only to glance at the 
times and the men. SAMUEL SACKETf entered the 
ministry at the moment when the great religious 
awakening that accompanied Whitefield's labours 
had reached its height. He was ordained by the 
Presbytery of New Brunswick, of which William 
Tennent and his sons were now the leading spirits. 
The Presbytery sent him into Westchester Coun- 
ty to perform a missionary work, for which he was 

* Town Records of Bedford. No. 2, p. 137. 

\ Born in Newtown, L. L, in 1712. Married Hannah, daughter 
of Nathanael Hazard, of New York, 6 'April, 1732. Ordained by 
New Brunswick Presbytery, 13 Oct., 1741, and sent to preach in 
Westchester Co., N. Y., at Crompond — now Yorktown — and Cort- 
land Manor. Installed pastor of Bedford Church, 12 Oct., 1743- 
Called in 1753 to Hanover or Crompond, where he died 5 June, 
1784, aged seventy-two years. 


well fitted. He was a man of burning zeal — 
"one of the most enthusiastic Methodists," an un- 
friendly witness calls him.* It was the period 
of the division of the Presbyterian Church — the 
"schism " of 1741. Sacket took sides with the ex- 
treme left — to use a modern phrase — the progres- 
sives, the " new lights," as they were then termed. 
The preaching of these men was earnest, evangeli- 
cal, but too often bitter and denunciatory. In 
Connecticut they met with little favour. It was a 
time of great religious torpor throughout New Eng- 
land. Those who sympathized with the revival, 
dissatisfied with this pervading apathy, separated, 
in many cases, from the Consociated churches, 
and formed distinct congregations. Such a move- 
ment had occurred in Bedford, greatly weakening 
the church, during the early years of Sacket's pas- 
torate. He succeeded in drawing back a number 
of the Separatists ; and the church appears to have 
enjoyed seasons of religious refreshment under his 
ministry. But the people were conservative, dis- 
trustful of new measures, attached to the " half- 
way covenant ;" the zeal and the strictness of 
their " New Light " Minister displeased them ; 
and they asked to have the pastoral relation dis- ^^ 

His successor, Eliphalet BALL,f was a man of 

* History of the Prot. Episc. Church in Westchester Co., N. Y., 
by R. Bolton, p. 621. 

f A native of New Haven, Conn. Graduated at Yale College in 
1748, and ordained probably by one of the Connecticut Associa- 


2 jYnuary. kindred spirit. Like Sacket, he held with Ed- 
wards and Bellamy in his theology, and in his 
views of experimental religion ; and like Sacket he 
met with opposition on the part of the " Old Side ' 
members of his congregation. In 1756 he wrote 
to Bellamy, begging him to come and preach in 
his parish, and promising to spend a week with him 
in visiting the regions round about. His " natural 
turn " led him sometimes into hasty and arbitrary 
action ; and the help of the Presbytery was repeat- 
edly invoked,* to settle difficulties between the 
pastor and the Session. f In 1763, " understanding 
that the Church in Bedford laboured under great 
Difficulties, as well by the Death of one of their 
Elders, as from the withdrawing of another, one 
Mr Daniel Haight, who had turn'd Anabaptist, 
whereby the Church was left without a proper 
Number of Elders, and could not be prevailed with 
at present to chuse any more/' the Presbytery ap- 

tions. Installed Pastor of Bedford Church, 2 Jan., 1754. Dis- 
missed 21 Dec., 1768. Removed to " the Five Mile Square" — now 
Ballston, Saratoga County, New York — in 1770. Died there in 
1797. He is said to have been distantly related to General Wash- 

* Some of these charges are recited by Webster, Hist, of the 
Presb. Church in America, p. 657 ; but inasmuch as the Presbytery 
found the complaints to be groundless, they are unworthy of the 
prominence that has-been given to them. 

f The Elders representing Bedford Church in the Presbytery of 
Dutchess County, from the date of the formation of that Presbytery, 
27 October, 1762, until the close of Mr. Ball's pastorate, 21 De- 
cember, 1768, were Ebenezer Miller, John Lawrence, and Joshua 


pointed a committee to consider the state of things, 
and make report at their next meeting. In 1764, 
Mr. Ball and his Elder referred to the Presbytery 
a case " touching the Interest of some Monies, 
arising from the sale of some Parsonage Lands, 
sold before Mi* Ball's settlement in this Place," 
which the Elder refused to pay. In 1766, a peti- 
tion was offered "by a Number of Persons belong- 
ing to the Church and Congregation in Bedford, 
desiring that the Rev d Mi* Ball, their present Pas- 
tor, might be dismissed from his Pastoral Relation 
to that Church and people ; at the same time al- 
ledging nothing against. M r Ball's moral Character, 
only representing that there were some particular 
uneasinesses existing among them, which rendered 
the success of his Ministry dubious among that 
People. " Finding, however, that " a Majority of 
the People were yet for his Continuance, and ob- 
serving the Christian Tenderness that appeared 
between the parties," the Presbytery was of opin- 
ion that " some healing Measures should yet be 
pursued to make up their present unhappy 
Breach,' ' and advised the pastor to call the con- 
gregation together to consult and act with refer- 
ence to their condition. In 1767, a minority of 
the congregation complained that the Church Ses- 
sion had dismissed two of the Elders from office. 
The Presbytery judged that u a Church Session had 
power to purge its own Body," yet advised* that 
this action be reconsidered, and that if it should 
appear upon the whole to be for the best, the E!- 



*7t>7- <f[ ers b e restored. This course did not satisfy the 
complainants, who appealed to the Synod. At the 
next meeting of the Synod of Philadelphia, 27th 
May, 1767, the complaint was presented by Mr. 
John Lawrence, Elder: but was dismissed as 
trivial, and the conduct of the dissatisfied party, 
" in absenting themselves from public worship, on 
so slender a foundation, " was pronounced unjusti- 
fiable. The difficulties which had been pending so 
long, culminated however in the following year, 
1 December, when the Presbytery met at Bedford. " A Petition 
was prefer'd by M r Ball, requesting a Dismission 
from his pastoral Relation. 5 ' After duly consid- 
ering the reasons for and against granting this 
request, the Presbytery "judged it most for the 
Glory of God, the Interest of Religion, and best 
Good of that Church and people that the pastoral 
Relation be dissolved, and do dissolve it accord- 
ingly/' Mr. Ball was recommended as a Minister 
of the Gospel in good standing to the churches 
wherever God in His providence might call him ; 
and the Presbytery " being sensible of the broken 
and melancholly Circumstances of the Church and 
Congregation in this place, " did "earnestly recom- 
mend to every one of them to forget and forgive 
all former Broils and Disputes, and unitedly join 
to seek and pursue the Things w r hich make for 

Our accounts of Eliphalet Ball, after his resigna- 
tion of this pastoral charge, have hitherto been sin- 
gularly confused and inaccurate. It has been rep- 


resented* that he came back to Bedford in 1772, I7 t 7 o ° 
and resumed the care of this Church, in the ab- I797> 
sence of Mr. Mills, who had succeeded him in the 
pastoral office ; that he remained here until 1784, 
and after spending four years in Woodbridge, Con- 
necticut, removed in 1788 with a part of the Bed- 
ford congregation to Saratoga County, in this 
State. The truth is, however, that this removal 
occurred nearly twenty years earlier, and very soon 
after Mr. Ball's departure from Bedford ; and that 
he never returned to this Church. f It was in the 
year 1770 that with his family he went from this 
region to the locality which became known by his 
name, as Ball's Town, or Ballston. Here a settle- 
ment had been recently commenced by two broth- 
ers, Michael and Nicholas McDonald. From 
these proprietors, Mr. Ball received the appropri- 
ation of a tract of four hundred acres of land, as an 
inducement to come and bring with him a com- 
pany of his former parishioners. Among the early 
settlers of Ballston, we find the names of John 
Holmes, Dr. Elisha Miller, Beriah Palmer, David 

* Webster, History of the Presb. Church in America, p, 658. — 
Gillett, History of the Presb. Church in the U. S., Vol. I., p. 151. 
— Bolton, History of Westchester Co., N. Y., revised edition, Vol. 
I., p. 51. 

f The impression that he did return may have arisen from a 
mistaken reading of an entry in the minutes of the Presbytery of 
Dutchess County, 8 Oct., 1783, when the people of Bedford made 
representations to the Presbytery regarding <: Mr. Mills [not Mr. 
Ball's] return to theni ; " Mr. Mills having been absent from Bed- 
ford since the burning of the Church and parsonage, 2 July, 1779. 


x \l s Clark, Samuel Wood, Isaac How, John Bell, Uriah 
I797 * Benedict, Nathan Raymond, Stephen and Epenetus 
White, Nathanael Weed, and others, who probably 
belonged to this company of emigrants from Bed- 
ford.* On the twenty-second day of September, 
1775, the inhabitants of Ballston met, and united 
in a church relation, under the ministry of Mr. 
Ball, and upon the basis of the standards of the 
Church of Scotland. f A house of worship was 
built upon the southwest corner of the Minister's 
farm, and here he preached for several years. His 
pastorate, however, had terminated in April, 1783, 
when he was succeeded by the Reverend Ebenezer 
Martin. At this period Mr. Ball removed from 
Ballston — perhaps leaving his family there — and 
came to Woodbridge, Connecticut, where he offici- 
ated as Minister of the Congregational Church in 
that place from December, 1783, until the year 
1790.^: He then returned to Ballston, and re- 
mained there until his death in 1797; but he did 
not resume the pastoral charge of the Church, al- 
though his name appears occasionally as moderator 
during vacancies in the pastorate. He continued 
a member of the Presbytery of Dutchess Coun- 
ty, although never present at its sessions until 

* History of Saratoga County, New York, by N. B. Sylvester, 
Philadelphia : 1878. Town of Ballston, pp. 246, 250. 

f An Historical Sketch of the Presbyterian Church of Ballston 
Centre, N. Y. By the Pastor, Alex. S. Hoyt, Ballston, N. Y., 

% Contributions to the Eccl. History of Conn., p. 514. 


May, 1786. In 1776, his absence from the autumn 
meeting of the Presbytery was excused, in view of 
" the Circumstances of that part of the Country 
where M r Ball Dwells, and the difficulties of the 
present times. " While in Woodbridge, he con- 
nected himself with the New Haven Association. 

Mr. Ball was a man of indomitable energy, and 
as a leader both in civil and in ecclesiastical mat- 
ters was highly esteemed in the community to 
which he gave his name. His children, like him- 
self, were pronounced patriots, one of his sons 
serving during the war of the Revolution as a 
colonel in the army.* 

SAMUEL Mills, the ninth Minister of this church, J 7 6 9- 
was the sonf of the Reverend Jedidiah Mills, for 
fifty-seven years pastor of Ripton — now Hunting- 
ton — Connecticut., He was graduated at Yale 
College in 1765, and was licensed by Fairfield East 
Association on the thirty-first of May, 1768. The 
Presbytery of Dutchess County, upon dissolving 

* Mr. Ball's sons were John, Stephen, and Flamen. His wife's 
name was Elizabeth. His daughter, Mary, became the wife of 
General James Gordon. John was a colonel in the army, and was 
in active service. u He was in the relief party under General 
Arnold, that marched to the aid of Fort Stanwix." Flamen, the 
youngest son, was graduated at Yale College in 1787, and became 
a lawyer in the city of New York, where he died. His son, Flamen, 
of Cincinnati, formerly law partner of Chief Justice Chase, and 
United States District Attorney under President Lincoln's admin- 
istration, is still living, at the age of seventy-two. — The Ballston 
Journal, 1 Oct., 1881. 

f"Son to the Revd M r Mills of Ripton in Connecticut." 
Records of the Presbytery of Dutchess County, p. 48. 


the pastoral relation between EHphalet Ball and 
the people of Bedford, advised them to apply for 
the services of Mr. Mills, who accepted their call, 
13 December, and was duly ordained by the Presbytery, con- 
jointly with a council of the Ministers of Fairfield 
County. During the first years of Mr. Mill's pas- 
torate, the church appears to have recovered in a 
measure from the " broken and melancholy " con- 
dition in which he had found it. He had been 
the unanimous choice of the people, and their at- 
tachment to him seems to have been unwavering 
to the last. But the outbreak of the Revolution 
made it exceedingly difficult for the Ministers of 
the Gospel, in this exposed region, to pursue their 
work. The records of the Presbytery, however, 
show that in spite of these difficulties, the pastor of 
Bedford Church was present at its sessions with an 
Elder, almost invariably, for nine successive years — 
from December, 1769, to November, 1778.* For the 
next two years and a half, the meetings of that body 
were interrupted by the war. Meanwhile Mr. Mills 
had been forced to. remove from Bedford tempor- 
arily. His removal probably occurred at the time 

* The Elders from Bedford Church, who appeared in Presby- 
tery from 1770 to 1778, were Joshua Ambler, Jacob Smith, Eben- 
ezer Miller, John Lawrence, and Stephen Cleik. Of these, the 
first was the most frequently present. May gth, 1770, " M r Am- 
bler, being an Elder in the Church at Bedford, yet living much 
nearer to Poundridge, his Circumstances being somewhat Critical, 
and he in Doubt where to join, begs the Advice of the Presbytery ; 
who having consider'd the Matter, advise him, upon the whole, to 
continue where he is." 


when the church and parsonage, together with 
nearly the whole village of Bedford, were burned 
by Tarleton's troops, on the night of the second of 
July, 1779. 

In October, 1782, Bedford was reported as " des- 
titute." For some months prior to the meeting of 
the Presbytery in October, 1783, Mr. Mills had been 
preaching to the congregation in " Fredericksburg 
North Society," now Patterson, Putnam County, 
New York. This congregation now requested the 
Presbytery to " set him over them in the work of the 
Gospel Ministry." The request was opposed by 
Jacob Smith, " Elder in the church at Bedford, from 
which Place M r Mills was Driven by the distressing 
Circumstances into which they were cast by y e late 
war, and from which Church and Congregation he 
has been compelled to be absent y e main part of y e 
Time for years past;" urging " that Presbytery 
would not Liberate Mr Mills from his Pastoral Re- 
lation to y e Church in Bedford till they may have 
opportunity to represent their Case and signify their 
mind with respect to Mr. Mills's return to them." 
The Presbytery was greatly embarrassed by these 
conflicting applications. Three adjourned meet- 
ings were held before a decision could be reached. 
At one of these meetings, the people of Bedford 
were represented by a committee, consisting of 
James Raymond, Joseph Holmes, and Moses St. 
John. Finally, at a meeting held on the seventeenth 
of March, 1784, the Presbytery conclude that " they 
do not find reasons to advise Mr Mills to return 





17890 to Bedford." The pastoral relation, however, 
continued for two years longer, until the installa- 
tion of his successor. He remained at Fredericks- 
burg until 1789, when, his views upon the subject 
of infant baptism having been changed, he left the 
Presbyterian Church and avowed himself a Baptist.* 

* The change appears to have occurred in the course of the win- 
ter of 1788-9. The Presbytery learned, May 6, 1789, that Mr. 
Mills had "joined the denomination of the Anabaptists since our 
last session" (16 Oct., 1788). His connection with the Presbytery 
was severed 14 Oct., 1789. I have been favoured by the Rev. 
Samuel J. Mills, of Nevada, Iowa — a grandson of Samuel Mills — 
with some interesting particulars regarding his grandfather, and 
his descendants. " I have learned from my father, deceased in 
1844, that my grandfather became much exercised on the subject 
of baptism ; shut himself up for six weeks in his study ; and then 
at great personal sacrifice announced to his people his change of 
views, which severed his connection with the church and the Pres- 
bytery. It was the greatest trial of his life." He removed, 
about the year 1797, to " the Genesee country," and settled " in the 
vicinity of the Wadsworths, at what was then Williamsburg, mid- 
way between Mount Morris and Geneseo." He had four sons : 
Alexander, Lewis Frederick, Philo, and William A. He died 
near Geneseo, Livingston County, New York, in 1813 (not 1815, 
as stated in the Yale College Catalogue). " His memory was long 
cherished " in that locality, for his worth and devoted piety. His 
widow, a second wife, was a sister of Colonel David Humphreys, 
one of Washington's aides-de-camp ; and after her husband's death, 
returned to Connecticut. Samuel Mills' youngest son, William A. 
(born in Bedford, 27 May, 1777), was a man of great enterprise, 
prominent among the early settlers of Livingston County, and an 
active member of the Presbyterian Church. A sketch of his life is 
published in the History of the Early Settlers of that County. His 
son, Samuel J. Mills, was graduated at Yale College in 1837, was 
admitted to the bar in Albany, 1841, but engaged in business for 
some years, and finally devoted himself to the Ministry, and was 
licensed in E859 to preach the Gospel. 


Up to this time, he had been an active member iy89, 
of the Presbytery, and the records of that body 
confirm the impression received from traditional 
accounts, that he was an able and a devoted Min- 
ister of the Gospel. 

It is indeed not a little remarkable that during 
this early period in the history of our land, when 
our Church was in its infancy, and when the num- 
ber of trained and faithful men in the service of 
the Gospel was very small, Bedford should have 
been favoured with the ministrations of such de- 
voted and gifted Ministers of the Word as Morgan, 
Tennent, Sacket, Ball, and Mills. The humble 
" meeting-house/' the site of which, at the foot of 
Bates' Hill, was chosen this day two hundred years 
ago ; and the second house of worship, which, 
some time in the early part of the last century, 
took its place, resounded with voices as earnest and 
eloquent and loyal to the truth as were heard in 
the land. The waves of the great tide of religious 
life came sweeping again and again over this peo- 
ple, in the days of the Great Awakening. Here 
Tennent preached in his power — Tennent, the 
friend and the peer of Whitefield, the founder of 
the Log College, and the father of those "four 
gracious sons/' of whom Whitefield wrote, and who 
were destined to shine as lights amid the darkness 
and destitution of the age. And it is reasonable 
to believe that the teachings and the lives of these 
able and godly men must have exerted a powerful 
and an abiding influence upon this community. 


We have but scanty accounts of the state of re- 
ligion here during the period immediately preced- 
ing the Revolution. In the disturbed condition 
of the country, there was doubtless much to im- 
pede the usefulness of the ministry, and to draw 
the attention of the people away from sacred truths 
and duties. Tradition, however, testifies to the 
fact, that religion pure and undefiled was illus- 
trated here by many a consistent Christian charac- 
ter, and that the doctrines of grace, so earnestly 
proclaimed from the pulpit, were cherished in the 
hearts of your forefathers, and bore fruit in hum- 
ble, blameless and useful lives, whose record is on 


Bedford, during the greater part of the seven 
years* war of the Revolution, was protected by 
the proximity of the American forces, and suffered 
less from incursions of the British troops than did 
the places west and south of this, in the region 
known as the Neutral Ground. It was, however, 
exposed at all times, but especially in the earlier 
years of the war, to the depredations of the ma- 
rauding cow boys : and more than once, the fly- 
ing visits of the enemy brought fire and slaughter 
to the homes of its people. Upon one of these 
1779- occasions, the meeting house and nearly every 
dwelling in the village were burned.* It is sup- 
posed that the records of the church, preserved in 
the minister's house, were destroyed in this con- 

* Magazine of American History, vol. III., p. 685 (Nov., 1879). 



Soon after the close of the war, the congrega- I78s - 
tion undertook to rebuild their sanctuary. A site 
was chosen, on the hill overlooking the village, 
about twenty rods west of the spot where the 
former house of worship had stood. The ground 
was given by Captain Lewis McDonald. * The 

* To all Christian People to whom these Presents shall come 
Greeting know ye that I Lewis McDonald formerly of Bedford in 
Westchester County State of New York but Now a Resident of 
Long Island for certain Causes me thereunto moving and out of 
love and affection for the Encouragement of Virtue and the Propi- 
gation of the Gospel Do hereby Bequeath and give unto the Presby- 
terian Society of Bedford in the County and State above said and 
to their Heirs and Successors forever as long as they shall Remain 
a Society and as long as they shall stand in Want of a House of 
Publick Worship or a spot of Ground to Erect a House of Worship 
thereon ONE half acre of Land situate lying and being in the 
Township of Bedford in the County and State aforesaid Bounded 
(as follows Lying on an Eminence above the spot of Ground where 
the former Meeting House stood) Easterly by the Road that Runs 
from the Town of Cantito Westerly Northerly and Southerly by 
my own Land which land was a purchase of John Elliott Reference 
being had to the Original Conveyance to have and to hold the 
Above Bequeathed and Given spot of Land with all and singular 
the Rights and Privileges thereunto Belonging to the above men- 
tioned Society to their Heirs and Successors agreeable to the above 
Mentioned Terms and Conditions and also I the said Lewis Mc- 
Donald do for myself my Heirs and Assigns Covenant with the 
said Society their Heirs and Successors that at and until the En- 
sealing of these Presents I am well seised of the Premises as a 
Good Indefeasable Estate in fee Simple and have Good Rights to 
Dispose of the same in manner and form above written and the 
same is free from all Incumberances Whatsoever and furthermore I 
the said Lewis McDonald do by these Presents bind myself my 
Heirs to Warrant and Defend to the above Covenanted Premises 
to the said Society their Heirs and Successors Against all Claims 


I7f3 - church was probably erected in the autumn of the 
year 1783.* A number of years, however, elapsed, 
before the people were in a condition to complete 
it. A stranger who visited the place in 1795, has 
left us a graphic description of its forlorn appear- 
ance. " Bedford had been a frontier town during 
the Revolutionary war, and had suffered from the 
depredations of both parties. Houses scattered 
. here and there, many of them in a decayed state, 

179s. led me to apprehend that the situation could not 
be very eligible to me or my family. The church, 
built of wood, and unstained by a single brush of 
paint, presented an appearance of desolation ex- 
ceedingly affecting. If I had been surprised, at 
a passing glance, at the exterior of the building, I 
was much more so on beholding its interior, where 
was neither plaster, pew, nor gallery. The Minis- 
ter indeed was accommodated with a pulpit, while 

and Demands Whatsoever In Testimony and Confirmation of 
which I have hereunto set my hand and Seal this Sixth Day of 
August in the year of our LORD Christ one Thousand Seven 
Hundred and Eighty and three and in the Seventh year of our 


Lewis McDonald : L s : 
In Presence of : 

Stephen Cornwell \ 

Mary Cornwell J (Town Records of Bedford.) 

* The deed of gift, from Lewis McDonald to the Presbyterian 
Society of Bedford, is dated the sixth day of August, 1783. The 
Town Records show that the town meeting in May, 1784, was 
held in the ''meeting house," which must therefore have been 
erected between these dates. 


his hearers sat on slabs, supported by two legs at * 795, 
each end, and two in the middle." * 

But the sanctuary, in its forlorn condition, was 
only a type of the pervading desolation. Every- 
where the traces of the long, weary, exhausting 
struggle were to be seen. Its most disastrous 
effects appeared, here as elsewhere, in the moral 
and religious state of the population. Religious 
worship interrupted for years, education neg- 
lected, families broken up, young men called away 
to the exposure and suffering of military service, 
and to the demoralizing associations of camp life ; 
all the hardening and depressing influences of war 
experienced for so long a time : — it is not surprising 
to find that the work of recuperation in the church, 
as in society at large, was slow and difficult. 

At Bedford, however, this work was undertaken 
with a promptness and an energy which proved that 
the interest of the community in its own religious 
welfare had not died out. The congregation, 
shortly after the declaration of peace, became in- 
corporated, under the law of the State of New 
York. The name and style of the ecclesiastical J 7 8 5- 
corporation was, The Presbyterian Church and 
Congregation of Bedford, to be governed in Dis- 
cipline and Worship according to the Directory of 
the now established Church of Scotland. The 
first trustees elected were Zebadiah Mills, Israel 
Lyon, and Joseph Owen. 

*The Blatchford Memorial, New York, 1871, pp. 22, 25. 


The next year, a Minister was called. JOHN 
Davenport* came of a long line of eminent New- 
England Ministers. His father was the famous 
James Davenport, one of the most erratic of the 
" New Light " preachers, the friend of Whitefield, 
Davies, and the Tennents. John was born on the 
eleventh day of August, 1752, in Philippi — now 
Carmel, Putnam County, New York — where his 
father was settled for a time.f 
i8 I7 May. The Presbytery of Dutchess County met in Bed- 
ford, at the request of the congregation, "with a 
view to the Instalment of the Reverend John 
Davenport. " Solomon Mead, of Salem, at whose 
ordination, thirty-four years before, the father of the 
candidate had been present, preached the sermon, 

* Born in Philippi, or Carmel, N. Y., it Aug., 1752. Gradu- 
ated at the College of New Jersey in 1769. Ordained by Suffolk 
Presbytery in 1775. Stated Supply at Southold, L. I., for two 
years. Settled in Bedford, 18 May, 1786. Resigned 4 May, 1 791. 
Dismissed, 18 Sept., 1793, to the Presbytery of Long Island. Set- 
tled, 12 Aug., 1795, in Deerfield, N. J., where he remained for ten 
years. He afterwards laboured as home missionary in Western 
New York, and died in Lysander, N. Y., 13 July, 1821, aged sixty- 
nine years. 

f Sprague. Annals of the American Pulpit, vol. III., p. 89. Dr. 
Sprague puts Philippi in New Jersey. That the place designated 
was no other than Philippi in Dutchess County, New York (now 
Carmel, Putnam Co., N. Y.), is shown by the records of the neigh- 
bouring church of South Salem, Westchester Co., from which it ap- 
pears that James Davenport was present at the ordination of Solo- 
mon Mead, the first pastor of that congregation, 19 May, 1752, and 
"gave a word of exhortation. " I find no evidence that there was 
any place in New Jersey named Philippi. 



on Hebrews, twelfth chapter and first verse. The 
pastoral relation which still subsisted in name be- 
tween this church and the Rev. Samuel Mills was 
now at length dissolved. And the Presbytery then 
proceeded to install Mr. Davenport as pastor of 
Bedford Church. 

Under Mr. Davenport's leadership, the Session* 
of this Church engaged vigorously in the work be- 
fore them — the exercise of discipline, and the en- 
deavour to promote piety and spirituality among 
the people. Measures were taken for the more 
frequent and regular administration of the Holy 
Communion. A monthly prayer meeting was in- 
stituted. Quarterly collections for the relief of the 
poor were appointed. " These regulations show," 
as Mr. Heroy has well observed, " that there were 
many here at that early day who loved the purity 
of the Church, and were anxious for its greater ef- 
ficiency for good in the world." They testify also 
to the zeal and faithfulness of the pastor — the first 
Minister of this people after the Revolution. 

Mr. Davenport's pastorate ended on the fourth 
of May, 1791. His successor was Isaac FOSTER, 
who remained only a short time. He had been 792. 

J 22 March. 

pastor of the Congregational church in West Staf- 
ford, Connecticut, but having departed in his 
preaching from some of the fundamental doctrines 
of the Gospel, he was tried for heresy and deposed 

* The Elders who represented Bedford Church in Presbytery 
during Mr. Davenport's ministry, were Jacob Smith, Moses St. 
John, and Eli Tyler. 

7 6 


from the Ministry by Hartford North Association 
in 1781.* The seeds of Universalism and infidel- 
ity which he sowed in that church produced, it is 
said, an abundant harvest. Bedford could not tol- 
erate his teachings ; he left after two years, and 
died in 1807. 
1795. Anticipating a fashion of our own times, this 

Church next called a Minister from across the 
water. This Minister was the excellent SAMUEL 
BLATCHFORD, then pastor of a Presbyterian Congre- 
gation in Topsham, Devonshire, England. I am 
strongly tempted to linger here, and speak to you 
freely of the life and character of this remarkable 
man. The materials for a full and graphic sketch 
are abundant, in the memorial volume prepared by 
one of his descendants, and in the extensive no- 
tices of him contained in Dr. Sprague's Annals of 
the American Pulpit. But I forbear, inasmuch as 
Mr. Blatchford spent only six or eight months in 
Bedford, supplying this pulpit and that of Pound- 
ridge Church on alternate Sabbaths during the fall 
and winter of the year 1795 ; and I must proceed to 
notice the longer pastorates that came after. Mr. 
Blatchford was called from Bedford in April, 1796, 
to Greenfield, Connecticut, where he succeeded 
President Dwight ; thence after a year's service he 
went to Stratfield ; and in 1804 he took charge 
of the Presbyterian churches of Lansingburg and 
Waterford, New York, and died 17th March, 1828. 

* Contributions to the Eccl. History of Conn., p. 504. 



He was followed by JOSIAH HENDERSON, a I5 N ; 7 v 9 e 8 ^ ber 
native of Bedford, Massachusetts, whose pastorate, T *° 
though short, " left a favourable impression upon 3 November - 
the church, and a good name among the people." 
Mr. Henderson went from this place to Virginia, 
and ministered for fourteen years to a congrega- 
tion in Culpepper County. He afterwards took 
charge of a church in Tisbury, on the island of 
Martha's Vineyard, where he is still remembered 
as " a ready, fluent speaker, and a man of rare 
pulpit gifts, whom the people thronged to hear." 
He was a physician, as well as a Minister of the 
Gospel; and while settled in Tisbury, his " medi- 
cal practice extended over the whole island." His 
last days were spent in Farmington, Maine. * 

His successor was EBENEZER GRANT, a gradu- c l8 ° 4, u 

7 ° 20 September. 

ate of Queen's, now Rutgers College. He was or- 
dained to the Gospel Ministry by the Presbytery 
of New Brunswick, on the nineteenth of Novem- 
ber, 1800, at Shrewsbury, New Jersey, and for the 
next four years supplied the church in that place, 
and several neighbouring congregations. Mr. Grant 
came to Bedford in 1804,- at the age of thirty-one, 
and here laboured for seventeen years, fulfilling 
his course and resting from his work on the sixth 
day of September, 1821. He was universally be- 

* Communicated by Richard I,. Pease, Esq., of Edgartown, 
Mass. Mr. Henderson was married twice, fie had several chil- 
dren, one of whom, Jophanns, became a physician. The Elders 
during Mr. Henderson's pastorate were Moses St. John, Justus Har- 
ris, Eli Tyler, Peter Fleming, Joseph Owen, and Stephen Benedict. 


t82i « loved, and his removal, in the prime of life, and 
in the midst of a useful ministry, was greatly de- 
plored throughout this community. He was the 
first Minister since Thomas Denham, a century and 
a third before, who died while pastor of this church, 
and was buried among his people. " His remains 
lie," says Mr. Heroy, "beneath the green sward 
under the cliff, where the ground is terraced gradu- 
ally up to the overhanging rocks.'' 

It was during Mr. Grant's ministry, in the year 
1807, that the Bedford Academy was founded. 
This institution, though not of a denominational 
character, owed its existence largely to the Pres- 
byterian Church of Bedford, whose pastor was the 
first president of the Board of Proprietors, and 
whose trustees gave the land upon which the 
building was erected.* Its first Principal was the 
Reverend Daniel Crocker, a Presbyterian clergy- 
man. Governor Jay was one of the original sub- 
scribers. Time will not permit me to mention 
even the more salient names in the long list of 
those who have been connected with your acad- 
emy as instructors, and the longer list of those 
who have pursued their studies within its walls — 
many of whom have attained distinction as profes- 

* " January 19th, 1807. At a meeting of the Presbyterian 
Society of the Town of Bedford/' it was voted that a lot be 
given, " fifty feet in front and one hundred feet in rear of the west 
corner of the parsonage meadow, fronting the green, and adjoining 
Coll. Holly's garden, for the express purpose of building an acad- 
emy thereon, and to be used for no other purpose whatever." 


sional and business men." 54 " The establishment of 
such a seat of learning, early in the present cen- 
tury — five years before the common school system 
of this State was adopted — testifies to the intelli- 
gence and public spirit of this community. Dr. 
Dwight, in 1813, made exception in favour of Bed- 
ford, and two other localities, when he says of 
Westchester County, " Neither Learning nor Re- 
ligion has within my knowledge flourished to any 
great extent among the inhabitants. " f 

We come now to a period in the history of the 
church, over which the recollections of not a few 
of those here present extend, a period the tradi- 
tions of which indeed are doubtless fresh and clear 
in the memories of all. And here the historian 
must descend from his vantage-ground, as one con- 
versant with things remote, beyond the ken of his 
hearers, to speak with modesty, in the presence of 
those more familiar than himself with the men and 
the times that are to pass under review. The 
sixty years that have elapsed since the death of 
Ebenezer Grant, in 1821, cover the pastorates of 
four Ministers of the Gospel, whose names you 
hold in deserved esteem and reverence : — Jacob 
Green, David Inglis, David C. Lyon, Peter B. 

The first of these was the grandson and the 
namesake of a very remarkable man. JACOB 

* History of Bedford Academy , read at the Annual Closing 
Exercises, June 28, 1877, pp. 1-5. 

+ Travels in New England, vol. III., p. 490. 


Green, pastor of the Presbyterian Church of Han- 
over/in Morris county, New Jersey, from 1745 till 
his death in 1 790, was one of the most influen- 
tial Ministers of his day. A pronounced patriot, 
he did good service in his country's cause, from 
the outbreak of the Revolution. A valiant soldier 
of Christ, he was successful in winning many souls 
to his Master. Distressed in view of the religious 
destitutions of the land, he originated a plan for 
the speedier preparation of teachers and Ministers 
to supply those destitutions. The Associated 
Presbyteries, which accomplished a good work, 
though in an irregular way, in the closing years of 
the last century, and the beginning of the present 
one, grew out of this plan. It is a curious fact, 
that the grandson and namesake was destined to 
spend his best years in destroying and burying 
out of sight the system which his eminent grand- 
father had created. Jacob Green of Hanover had 
ten children. One of them was the celebrated 
Ashbel Green, eighth president of Princeton Col- 
lege. Another son, who remained in Hanover, 
and followed a farmer's life, was the father of 
1790. your pastor, who was born in that place in the 
year 1790, a few weeks after his grandfather's 

Mr. Green pursued his studies for the ministry 
at Rutgers College and at the Theological Semi- 
nary in Princeton. He was a member of the first 
class graduated from that institution. After his 
licensure, he was sent by the Presbytery upon a 

13 August. 


mission to the destitute places in the western parts 
of Virginia and Pennsylvania. On his return, he 
was appointed to supply a small church at Succa- 
sunna Plain, near Morristown. There he remained 
nearly five years. The congregation had existed 
for over seventy years, but had long been without 
a settled ministry. While Mr. Green was with 
them, they repaired the old church, which until 
then had had neither ceiling nor plastered walls; 
and obtained new strength and vitality. At the 
urgent solicitation of some of his brethren, and 
particularly of the late Dr. Johnston, of Newburg, 
Mr. Green came to this region in the spring of 
1822, intending to preach in the village of Fishkill. 
On his way to that place, he was induced to spend 
a Sabbath in Bedford, where the people were still 
in deep sorrow over the recent loss of their Minis- 
ter. He did so : fulfilled his appointment at Fish- 
kill ; and, on his return, preached again in Bedford, 
when to his surprise a call was extended to him to 
become the pastor. 

At the time of Mr. Green's coming, the church 
numbered one hundred and nine members. The 
elders were devout and good men, who longed to 
see a time of greater prosperity. A cordial wel- 
come was given to the new Minister ; and soon 
there were evidences of increased spiritual life 
among the people. For several years, not a com- 
munion season passed without some additions to 
the membership of the church. From the first, 
Mr. Green endeavoured to awaken the interest of 


16 April. 


z \l 2 the congregation in the cause of foreign missions. 

i8 4 8. This object was engaging the attention of Chris- 
tians throughout the country as never before; and 
in connection with the extensive revivals of relig- 
ion that visited the churches at this period, a mis- 
sionary spirit manifested itself. Bedford Church 
partook largely of this spirit ; and to the zeal and 
the unwearied efforts of Mr. Green to produce and 
to cherish it, this fact is greatly due. Missionary 
prayer-meetings were held with frequency in dif- 
ferent parts of the parish. A " Ladies' Missionary 
Society," which still exists, was formed in the 
second year of Mr. Green's pastorate. The con- 
tributions of the people for the enterprise of mis- 
sions were large and generous. For many years, 
Bedford Church ranked foremost in this region 
among the supporters of that cause. Mr. Green's 
own interest in the work led him, not only to ac- 
quaint himself with its progress, but also to culti- 
vate a warm personal friendship for many who en- 
gaged in its promotion. His home and pulpit were 
always open to them ; and many a returned mis- 
sionary visited Bedford, quickening the zeal of 
pastor and people by fresh accounts from the har- 
vest field. In yet another way he accomplished 
much for this important cause. The parsonage 
offered a home to more than one young man who 
was seeking with straitened means to gain an edu- 
cation at the Academy near by. Among the stu- 
dents who thus came under the care and influence 
of the earnest pastor, was Joseph Owen, a native 


of this place, who went from Bedford in 1832 to J ^ 2 
Princeton, and after completing his studies at the l8 4 8 - 
college and the seminary, engaged in the service 
of the Presbyterian Board of Foreign Missions. 
Dr. Owen was one of the ablest and most devoted 
of our missionaries in Northern India. He finished 
his course after thirty years of fruitful labour, 
dying at Edinburgh in Scotland, on the fourth day 
of December, 1870, at the age of fifty-six. I am 
told that he has been heard to say, that if he was 
of any use in the world, he had reason to thank Mr. 
Green for it. 

It was during this pastorate — in 1829 — that the 
Presbytery, taking its name from this town, the 
Presbytery of Bedford, was formed. Though Pres- 
byterian from the beginning, your church had 
passed under the watch and care of several differ- 
ent ecclesiastical bodies. In the old colony times, 
before the framing of the Saybrook Platform, 
the Ministers of Fairfield County had the over- 
sight of the little flock in the remote bounds of 
Stamford. After the year 1708, the Association 
of Fairfield County assumed this duty. Under 
William Tennant's ministry, the church was con- 
nected with the Presbytery of Philadelphia. Dur- 
ing Robert Sturgeon's pastorate, its relations were 
with the Presbytery of New York ; and during 
Samuel Sacket's ministry, with the Presbytery of 
Long Island. But in 1762, a Presbytery was 
formed, designed to include all the Ministers and 
churches in this region, and to be known by the 




name of Dutchess County Presbytery. Bedford 
Church came under the care of this new body, and 
so continued until transferred in 1795 to Hudson 
Presbytery; from whose jurisdiction it passed in 
1819 under that of the Presbytery of North River. 
Through all the changes it remained Presbyterian. 
Meanwhile, nearly every other church within these 
bounds had fallen away from a strictly Presby- 
terial connection. The Associated Presbytery of 
Westchester, an organization Congregational rather 
than Presbyterian, had drawn from the Presbytery 
of Dutchess County every flock under its care save 
Bedford, South Salem, Patterson and South East. 
Bedford, the eldest of these churches, and the 
strongest, was now the standard-bearer of ortho- 
doxy. Jacob Green, from the time of his coming 
here, devoted himself to the work of recovering 
and rebuilding the decayed and almost extinct 
churches of Westchester and Putnam Counties. 
These churches were now to be gathered under 
one ecclesiastical control ; and with great pro- 
priety the new organization was called, in honour 
of the foremost and the staunchest representative 
of Presbyterian doctrine and order in this region, 
the Presbytery of Bedford. 

Our Church was then drifting toward the great 
catastrophe of the year 1837 — the division of the 
one body into the sections known as Old School 
and New School. Mr. Green's sympathies were all 
with the Old School party. If Samuel Sacket, a 
hundred years before, took sides with the " ex- 


treme left," the progressives, the men of new views 
and new measures, Jacob Green may certainly be 
classed with the extreme right — the eminently 
conservative, in doctrine and in practice. " He 
was known, " says one well qualified to speak of 
him and for him, " as strictly orthodox in his views 
and perfectly reliable as to his knowledge of church 
order and discipline. And in those days,when the 
whole Church " — meaning the Old School body — 
" was wide awake, in guarding against New School 
and Hopkinsian errors, he was much consulted, 
much trusted, and sometimes blamed ; and as New 
Haven divinity was much to be guarded against, 
I used to think that many were glad to have him 
placed, as a sort of sentinel of the Church, on the 
borders of Connecticut." In process of time, how- 
ever, as the angry passions and the harsh judg- 
ments of the period of controversy were moderat- 
ing, some became restless under a preaching that 
lost nothing of its polemic character. It was 
in view of the manifestation of this uneasiness, 
that Mr. Green resigned his charge. The pastoral 1 
relation was dissolved by the Presbytery. It had 
lasted twenty-six years — longer than any other 
pastorate in the history of this people. 

Mr. Green possessed, and retained to the last, 
the thorough respect and confidence of this entire 
community. He was an able and earnest preacher 
of the Gospel of the Son of God. He was a man 
of strong faith, pure intentions, and a diligent and 
blameless life. Fully persuaded in his own mind, 




25 January. 


he was not greatly disturbed or easily moved by 
to the differing opinions of others. He was a pattern 

1848. . 1? 1 1 - ' • 1 • 1 t - IT 

of punctuality and regularity in his habits. He en- 
joyed unbroken health until the short illness which 
closed his life. In his excellent wife, who is still 
living, he had a faithful and efficient coadjutor: 
and it is from this aged lady that I have learned 
the particulars with which I close this notice of 
your old pastor. Mr. Green removed from Bed- 
ford to Sing Sing, having received an appointment 
to the office of chaplain in the State prison. He 
died on the twenty-fifth day of October, 1851, 
from typhus fever, taken while visiting a sick per- 
son. Two or three days before his death, he called 
his wife to his bedside, and said to her, "You 
know that I am not superstitious ; but I have had 
such wonderful views, that I felt that I must tell 
you." Then raising his eyes as if looking toward 
some distant scene, he proceeded to say, " Oh, 
such brightness! it is wonderful! wonderful!' 
These words he repeated several times, with 
solemn energy ; and then closing his eyes, and 
letting his hands drop, he said, in a natural, con- 
versational tone, but with great solemnity : " Bow, 
and tremble, and adore." 

Mr. Green's successor was DAVID INGLIS, a 
young man, twenty-four years of age. He was the 
son of a well-known and highly esteemed Minister 
in the south of Scotland, where for more than 
thirty years the father was pastor of a United Pres- 
byterian congregation. David from his boyhood 


cherished the hope of entering the holy ministry. 
He pursued his studies at the University of Edin- 
burgh, and was licensed to preach when in his twen- 
tieth year. Very soon afterwards he came to Amer- 
ica, whither, while yet a student, he had looked as 
the desired field of his life's labours. He travelled 
for a short time in the West ; and then after supply- 
ing a church on Washington Heights, New York, 
for a few months, he was ordained and installed as 25 October, 
pastor of this congregation. Dr. Ormiston, in a 
notice of him, observes with truth, " His brief 
ministry of four years " in Bedford " was as grate- 
ful to himself as it was delightful to his people, 
and the memory of the youthful Scottish preacher, 
so fervid and so faithful, is still fresh and fragrant 
in that neighbourhood. " He was a man, says one 
of his friends in this place, most cordial in manner 
and expression. "His kindly greeting and hearty 
grasp of the hand, his fluent and cheerful conver- 
sation, put every one at his ease in his presence. 
But though so genial and sometimes mirthful in 
his intercourse with friends, in the pulpit he was 
intensely earnest and impressive. His preaching 
was in demonstration of the spirit and of power. 
It might be said truly of him, if of any man, Christ 
and His cross was all his theme. Seldom if ever 
did he close his sermon without a pressing exhor- 
tation to the unconverted to come to Christ and 
be saved. Multitudes far and near were attracted 
to his preaching: the church was filled Sabbath 
after Sabbath with attentive listeners ; numbers 


were brought into the fold, of such as will be stars 
in his crown of rejoicing in the great day." 

Of the subsequent career of this devoted servant 
of God, I shall only remind you briefly. Called 
1852. from this church to the pastorate of a congrega- 
tion in Montreal, he had scarcely commenced his 
labours there, when an overwhelming affliction 
desolated his home. In one short week his wife 
and three little children were taken from him. 
His health seriously affected by grief under this 
great loss, he was led to accept a call to another 
field of labour. For seventeen years he was the 
busy and successful pastor of a church in Hamil- 
ton, Canada. In 1871 he was chosen to the chair 
of Systematic Theology in Knox College, Toronto, 
but in the following year he resigned that position 
to become pastor of the Church on the Heights, in 
Brooklyn. In the midst of the work he loved, and 
in the prime of his powers, he was stricken down, 
and died after a brief illness, on the fifteenth day 
of December, 1877. 

Dr. Inglis was "a man of high natural endow- 
ments ; a scholar of varied and extensive attain- 
ments; a Christian of strong convictions and pro- 
found experience ; a preacher of eminent ability 
and great acceptance ; a pastor of rare wisdom 
and tender sympathy ; a theologian of decided 
views and large charity ; a citizen of generous 
spirit and unswerving loyalty ; a friend of unwaver- 
ing steadfastness and loving forbearance. " No- 
where, I am assured, will these felicitous words of 


Dr. Ormiston find a readier response than in the 
hearts of the people of this his first charge. 

Soon after the close of this pastorate a second 
Presbyterian Church was organized within the I5 T jSie. 
limits of this town, at Mount Kisco, where a thriv- 
ing village had sprung up, on the line of the Har- 
lem Railroad. Seventeen members of this church* 
w r ere dismissed to form the new colony ; and a 
house of worship was erected in the course of the 
same year. The enterprise has long since proved to 
be one of assured success ; and to-day the daughter 
is not far behind the mother church in strength 
and activity. The Ministers of Mount Kisco 
Church have been : The Rev. Andrew Shiland, 
who was installed 14 June, 1854, and resigned in 
April, 1870; the Rev. John Hancock, installed 16 
Oct., 1870, resigned 1 Sept., 1876; the Rev. John 
H. Frazee, installed 20th June, 1877, resigned 1st 
Nov., 1879; and the Rev - James W. Johnston, 
present incumbent, installed 29th June, 1880. 

Your next pastor was David C. Lyon, installed 
on the first day of December, 1852, and released 
from office in May, 1857. With the exception of 
this brief term of four years and a half, Mr. Lyon's 
ministerial life has been spent in the West, and 
chiefly in connection with the work of Home Mis- 

* These were Whiting Raymond, Lucretia Raymond, Holly 
Benedict, Deborah Benedict, Edward Banks, Clarissa Banks, Ed- 
ward Banks, jr., Samuel Knapp, Elizabeth Knapp, Phcebe Haight, 
Jesse Barrett, Margaret A. Barrett, Nancy Lounsbery, Emeline 
Benedict, Elizabeth Merritt, Mary A. Saiies, Jeremiah Banks. 

9 o 


1852 sions. Coming to you fresh from that work, to 
1857. which he afterwards returned, he was while here 
the earnest advocate of the cause he loved ; losing 
no opportunity to press its claims, and the claims 
of other benevolent objects as well, upon the 
sympathy and liberality of God's people. He was 
also a devoted pastor, and an able Minister of the 
Word. For many years the Synodical Missionary of 
the Synod of Minnesota, Mr. Lyon has been one 
of the most laborious and useful servants of the 
church, and Bedford may well cherish the memory 
of his sojourn here. 

The roll of your Ministers, preceding the present 
pastor, closes with the name of PETER BADEAU 
HEROY. He was of Huguenot descent, and was 
born on the sixteenth day of July, 1815, in the 
neighbourhood of Red Mills, or Mahopac Falls, in 
Putnam County in this State. His ancestors, 
driven by persecution to England, from their 
home on the island of Re, near Rochelle, in 
France, found their way across the ocean, about 
the middle of the last century, to New Rochelle in 
this county, and a little while before the Revolu- 
tion removed to the place then known as Hed 
Mills. Mr. Heroy pursued his academic studies 
at La Fayette College, and obtained his prepara- 
tion for the ministry at Princeton Seminary. Be- 
fore his settlement here, he had been settled in 
Delhi, Delaware County, and in Highlands, Orange 
County, New York. His ministry here lasted for 
twenty-one years. He was installed pastor of this 



church on the twenty-ninth day of October, 1857, 1857 
and continued in office until his death, on the six- 1878. 
teenth day of October, 1878. The Synod of New- 
York, in session at the time of his decease, gave 
expression to the high esteem and cordial affection 
in which he was held by its members. His un- 
affected piety, his zeal for the purity of the church, 
his deep concern for the salvation of souls, his 
fidelity as a preacher of the Gospel, his kindliness 
and 'gentleness toward all men, and especially his 
warm sympathy for the suffering and the troubled, 
justly endeared him to this people. The grief of 
an affectionate flock for a Minister whom they 
trusted and loved, is yet fresh, and is felt amid the 
festivities of this celebration. 

A third Presbyterian Church was organized 
within the bounds of this town, during Mr. Heroy's 
pastorate, at Katonah, a station of the Harlem November. 
Railroad. The Reverend John H. Eastman, the 
first and present pastor of Katonah Church, was 
ordained and installed by the Presbytery of West- 
chester, on the eighth day of July, 1875. 

Mr. Heroy's pastorate was illustrated by an 
event which would be memorable in the history 
of any congregation and community : the building 
of a house of worship, the free will offering of in- 
dividual piety and benevolence. Descended from 
that Ephraim Palmer, who was of Greenwich, in 
1672, and was admitted an inhabitant of this town 
in January, 1702, the generous giver of this beau- 
tiful sanctuary was prompted by a natural love for 


the home of his fathers and the place of his birth, 
as well as by a noble zeal for the honour of relig- 
ion. The formal presentation of this building to 
1872. the Trustees of the congregation, on the day of the 

15 August. * . - 

dedication, was accompanied with these words from 
the donor : 

" Christian Brethren : This house of wor- 
ship, now completed, has been erected for your 
use as the Presbyterian Church of the village of 
Bedford, Westchester County, New York; and my 
wife and myself desire formally to present it to 
you, with the following statement and conditions : 

44 We have had no desire, in this undertaking, to 
have our names inscribed in your place of worship, 
but have been actuated by gratitude to Almighty 
God for the blessings He has conferred upon us, 
and especially for His exceeding grace in giving us 
the hope of salvation through faith in Jesus Christ 
the Lord, our Saviour. 

" We do not feel that we can make any recom- 
pence to God for His mercy, but, constrained by 
His love, we desire to honour and serve Him. 

u Another motive influencing us has been our 
interest in this community, in the midst of which 
we have had our summer home for many years, and 
in this church as a Christian congregation with 
whom we have been privileged so often to worship. 

" This, as you know, is the place of my birth and 
the home of my kindred, and with the services of 
this church my earliest religious impressions are 



- " We desire to testify our sympathy, and to aid 1872. 
in the work of the Master here, of helping to main- 
tain His service, and in bringing souls to Christ. 

" In the conception and prosecution of this en- 
terprise, my wife has been intimately associated 
with me — indeed, it has been with her a cherished 
wish for years ; and with this, as so much else of my 
life, she has been, under God, an inspiration of good. 

" The best artists, workmen, and materials have 
been employed in the construction and furnishing 
of this building, and I do not know of anything 
which remains to be added to render it ready for 
use. I have used every exertion to make it suit- 
able and convenient for your purposes, religious 
and social, as a church and congregation. 

" And now, in presenting to you this house of 
worship, we desire to submit the following condi- 
tions, upon which, we understand, our views are in 
harmony : 

" 1st. The church is to be a free church, as this 
phrase is generally accepted ; the pews are to be 
free, so that all who choose to come to worship 
God here will feel at liberty to do so. The current 
expenses of the church and congregation to be met 
by subscription on the part of those interested in 
its maintenance, or by any plan of systematic con- 
tribution the congregation may deem proper to 

" 2d. The congregation obligates itself to keep 
the property in good and necessary repair, and to 
preserve and perpetuate in it religious services. 


1872. " Your acceptance of the property will be under- 

stood as the acceptance also of the conditions be- 
fore expressed. 

" Thankful for the ability to make the offering, 
we now, through this letter, make over to you, the 
Bedford Presbyterian Church and Society, all our 
interest and right in the building we have erected, 
praying also that the Master will mercifully accept 
and grant that in it His people may be comforted 
and strengthened, and many souls * added to the 
church daily of such as shall be saved/ " 

For eight years and more you have possessed 
and enjoyed this pleasant sanctuary, and the high 
purpose of the giver has been attained so far, in 
the comfort and convenience of the worshipping 
people, in the orderly ministration of Divine ser- 
vice, in the attraction of some, we may hope, not 
only to the courts of the Lord's house, but also to 
Him who is the glory of the house. And yet, on 
this occasion, and in this sacred building, I am 
tempted to say of our honoured friend, 

" He builded better than he knew." 

There was needed, against this day, completing 
two centuries since the order was given for the 
location of the first house of worship erected here, 
there was needed a monument, a suitable and an 
abiding memorial. Our friend has anticipated the 

Si monumentum requiris, circumspice. 


This church, the gift of FRANCIS ASBURY ^ 72 . 
Palmer and Susanna Palmer, his wife, is the 
fourth edifice occupied by the Presbyterian congre- 
gation of Bedford.* The first, erected about the 
year 1 681, was situated, as we have seen, on the town 
common, at the foot of the hill known as Bates's hill. 
It was called the " Meeting-house/' your Puritan 
forefathers choosing to reserve the word church, 
according to New Testament usage, for the body of 
believers, the spiritual church. The Meeting-House 
was used not only for the Sabbath and other re- 
ligious services, but also for the town assemblies ; 
though as early as the year 1702 we read of a Town 
House, in which the town meetings were held, and 
which being occupied in part at least as a dwell- 
ing, may have been a distinct building. In process 
of time, doubtless, it was enlarged, to accommodate 
the growing population of the town. The second 
house of worship, built probably in the early part 
of the last century, stood at the foot of the hill 
upon the summit of which the third church — lately 
abandoned for the present one — was erected after 
the Revolution. This edifice — the fourth — has 

* The present pastor of the Presbyterian Church of Bedford, the 
Reverend James Howard Hoyt, is a native of Milton, Saratoga 
County, New York. He was graduated in 1873 at Union College, 
and in 1876 at Union Theological Seminary, New York. He was 
licensed by the Presbytery of New York, and ordained by the 
Classis of Westchester, 27 June, 1876, and at the same time was 
installed pastor of the Reformed Church at Greenburg, Westches- 
ter Co., N. Y. He was installed pastor of this Church, 17 Jan., 


been placed upon a part of the ground laid out, it 
is believed, at the beginning of the settlement, for 
the use of the ministry.* Situated here in the 
centre of your beautiful village, on the broad street 
which public taste and enterprise have cared for so 
judiciously — may it stand until a third century 
shall end ; and may the glory of this house be 
greater than of any of the former three ! 

As we began, so let us close, devoutly acknowl- 
edging the goodness and wisdom of the Divine Pro- 
vidence, as viewed in the history of this commu- 
nity and of this people. Among the towns of our 
County, Bedford has been singularly favoured in 
many ways ; and first, in the composition of its orig- 
inal settlement. A recent English writer has called 
attention to the superior character of the founders 
of the colony cf Massachusetts Bay, as differing 
from the earlier settlers in Maryland or Virginia, and 
even from those who ventured across the Atlantic 
in the Mayflower. They were men of substance ; 
most of them of the middle class in England, and 
they left its shores, not under pressure of want, or 
because tired of their country, but driven by un- 
bearable persecution to this wilderness ; men " who 

* " 1694. The town by vote doth agree that as much land and 
medow as can be spaired and not predigous [prejudicial] to high- 
ways yt lyeth on the norwest side of whiping post broock shall be 
keept for a minestar and to be disposed to no man els but to a min- 
ister." — "Whipping Post Brook" is believed to be the stream run- 
ning in the rear of the present parsonage grounds. 


were as truly and loyally English as any that ever 
heard the lark carol."* These were the men whose 
sons planted this town. And in tracing the his- 
tory of this town and church for two centuries, I 
have been led to think that the character given to 
this community by its founders, has been lasting ; 
that the institutions of morality and religion, that 
were ordered and settled by their endeavours upon 
the best and surest foundations, have continued 
through these succeeding generations ; and that 
hence peace and happiness, truth and justice, 
religion and piety, have so greatly flourished 

I remark, secondly, that Bedford has been favour- 
ed in the preservation of its territory. Through 
early changes in the colonial government, through 
subsequent proprietary disputes, and through the 
more recent geographical arrangements by which, 
after the Revolution, our County was unwisely cut 
up into a number of petty townships, your town has 
remained intact, and still, after two centuries, lies 
four-square, very much as obtained by early pur- 
chases from the savages, and as described in its 
first charter from the government of Connecticut 
in 1697. 

I mention as a third advantage the fact that Bed- 
ford has been exceptionally free, for these two 
centuries, from religious contentions. For the 
first hundred years, Presbyterianism occupied the 

* Alfred Rimmer, in " Belgravia," 


ground almost exclusively.* And during the sec- 
ond hundred years, in which other Christian de- 
nominations have taken part in the common work, 
there has been a remarkable harmony between 
those of differing views and practices. For this 
harmony, I cannot but think you have been greatly 
indebted to the personal influence of that eminent 
man, whose name, second only to that of Wash- 
ington in our national history, is pleasantly asso- 
ciated with this spot ; coming, as he did, in the be- 
ginning of the present century to make the home 
of his honoured old age in Bedford. JOHN Jay 
was a devoted son of the Protestant Episcopal 
Church. But he was none the less a lover of true 
religion as represented in other branches of the 
Church of the Lord Jesus Christ. " Finding, on 
his removal to Bedford, no Episcopal church in 
the vicinity, he constantly attended/' says his dis- 
tinguished son and biographer, " the one belong- 
ing to the Presbyterians ; nor did he scruple to 

* In 1725, Mr. Wetmore reported c< at Bedford about eight or 
ten families of the Church" — i. e., the Church of England. The 
Anglican missionaries at Rye officiated occasionally or statedly — 
once in two or three months — at Bedford, until the period of the 
Revolution, and sometimes reported a large attendance upon the 
services. Where these services were held we do not learn. In 
1762, " there appears to have been several families, professors of 
the Church of Englan ." (Bolton, History of the Prot. Episc. 
Church in Westchester Co., page 623.) The rest of the " four 
hundred families belonging to the cure " were Presbyterians. There 
was no resident Minister of the Church of England in Bedford be 
fore the Revolution ; nor do we find mention of any house of wor- 
ship prior to the erection of St. Matthew's Church in 1807. 



unite with his fellow-christians of that persuasion 
in commemorating the passion of their common 
Lord." His interest in the welfare of the various 
evangelical denominations did not cease, when in 
1807, through his instrumentality, St. Matthew's 
Church was erected. To the last " he rejoiced in 
the increase and prosperity of them all."* 

The pastors of this congregation found in him a 
kind and wise friend. His spirit has rested upon 
those who have come after him, and has been large- 
ly diffused throughout this community ; and to-day 
the pleasure of your celebration is marred by no 
remembrance of sectarian feuds in the past, no 
consciousness of sectarian rancours cherished in 
the present. So may it be unto the latest gene- 
rations ! f 

* The Life of John Jay. By his son, William Jay. New York : 
1833, Vol. L, pp. 434, 461. 

\ Among the communications read by the Pastor of this Church, 
upon the occasion of the Bi-centenary Celebration, 22 March, 1881, 
was a letter from the Honorable John Jay, of which we are permit- 
ted to quote the following sentences. Alluding to " the good feel- 
ing between the two parishes " in Bedford, Mr. Jay remarks : " I 
well remember that as a boy on each third Sunday, when our Epis- 
copal pastor, the late Reverend Samuel Nichols, D.D., officiated at 
North Salem, I accompanied my father and his family to the Pres- 
byterian Church at Bedford, where I am told that to the last our 
pew continued to be known as' ' The Governor's Pew.' I may per- 
haps add too without impropriety, as entitling me to a personal in- 
terest in this occasion, that when I first attended Mr. Holmes' Acad- 
emy, I had the good fortune to live in the family of your predecessor 
the Reverend Jacob Green, and his excellent wife, of whose kind- 
ness I retain the most pleasant recollections." 


As I bring this address to an end, I feel how vain 
after all is the attempt to live over and to picture 
the events of the past. In the strongest light that 
history can cast upon them, they stand forth, clear, 
it may be, well defined, but colourless and still. As 
masses of foliage outlined against the sky, when 
the sun has set, the shapes are there, but how in- 
animate and how far away ! We live only in the 
present; and only the interests of the present can 
be revealed in living freshness and correct perspec- 
tive. Yet is it well sometimes to sit as in the twi- 
light, and watch the scenes over which the shadows 
of evening are stretched out, and take in the sug- 
gestions of the thoughtful hour. While reviewing 
the past, recounting its mercies, and seeking to 
gather up its lessons; while recognizing the bless- 
ings and the obligations of the present, it is our 
privilege to look forward into the future, as men 
that watch for the morning — to look toward the 
great consummation, for which these centuries of 
Christian work have been preparing; for which the 
holy men of old have been labouring; for which 
the generations of godly people who have gone be- 
fore us have been praying and waiting. " When told 
one day in his old age that some of his friends had 
asked how it was possible for him to occupy his 
mind at Bedford, Jay replied with a smile, * I have 
a long life to look back upon, and an eternity to 
look forward to/ ' In that kingdom of God whose 
dawn we are permitted to behold ; in that city 
which lieth four-square, there await us the faithful 


Ministers, the humble believers, the patient suffer- 
ers, the witnesses for Christ, who have gone before 
us. Let it be our care to follow them as they fol- 
lowed Him. Let it be our joy to remember, that 
though the workmen die, the work goes on ! 



. Thomas Denham, 





Joseph Morgan, 





1 1 

John Jones, 





William Tennent, 





Henry Baldwin, 






Robert Sturgeon, 


Died after 



Samuel Sacket, 





Eliphalet Ball, 





Samuel Mills, 





John Davenport, 





Isaac Foster, 





Samuel Blatchforc 





Josiah Henderson 


Died after 



Ebenezer Grant, 

1 804-1 82 1. 




Jacob Green, 





David Inglis, 





David C. Lyon, 



Peter B. Heroy, 





James H. Hoyt, 






1763. Ebenezer Miller. 

1765. John Lawrence. 

T76S. Joshua Ambler. 

1772. Jacob Smith. 

1775- Stephen Clerk. 

T784. Alexander Kidd. 

1786. Moses St. John, ordained 5 Nov. Died 8 April, 1822, 

1789. Eli Tyler, ordained 13 Dec. Died 10 Oct., 1828. 

1789. Justus Harris, ordained 13 Dec. 

1791. Simeon Rider. 

1800. Peter Fleming. Died 31 Jan., 1823. 

1S00. Joseph Owen. 

1800. Stephen Benedict. 

1815. Aaron Read, ordained 19 Mar. Died 9 Sept., 1854. 

1815. Seth Lyon, ordained 19 Mar. Died 31 Jan., 1878. 

1820. Elias Hait, ordained — Oct. 

1825. Joseph Siiliman, ordained 11 Sept. Died 28 Sept., 1829. 

1825. John Clark, ordained 11 Sept. Died 30 Aug, 1863. 

1835. David Miller, ordained 2 Jan. Died 14 May, 1858. 

1850. Alvah Howe, ordained — April. Died 3 Oct., 1874. 

1850. Phineas Lounsbery,ordained April. Died 26 Dec, 1878. 

1865. Edward Raymond, ordained 5 Nov. Died 7 Mar., 1873. 

1865. Solomon R. Lyon, ordained 5 Nov. Died 19 Mar., 1868. 

1865. John G. Clark, ordained 5 Nov. 

1865. St. John Owen, inducted 5 Nov. 

1875. Daniel B. Finch, ordained 28 Feb. 

1875. James H. Trowbridge, ordained 28 Feb. 




1875. David Travis, ordained 28 Feb. 
1875. Albert Williamson, ordained 28 Feb. 

* # * The early records of the Church having disappeared — de- 
stroyed, it is supposed, by fire, in 1779 — no list of Elders can be 
given for the period prior to the organization of the Presbytery of 
Dutchess County. The first six names in the above list are taken 
from the records of that Presbytery: and the dates prefixed to 
them indicate the years in which the Elders named first appeared in 
Presbytery as delegates from Bedford Church. 






The services were held in the Church, at half-past one 
o'clock in the afternoon, and at seven o'clock in the even- 
ing, of Tuesday, the twenty-second day of March, 1881. 
The building was tastefully decorated, and on either side 
of the pulpit the names of the successive Ministers of the 
parish were inscribed. A large congregation, including 
many persons who had come from distant parts of the 
county, participated in the celebration. The service of 
song was conducted by a large and well-trained choir. 

The afternoon service was opened with the Anthem, 
Benedic anima mea. 

The Prayer of Invocation was then offered by the Pastor, 
and the Reverend C. W. Adams, D.D., read a portion of 
Holy Scripture. 

The following Address was made by the Reverend Sam- 
uel Irenseus Prime, D.D. : 



It is with peculiar enjoyment, although at some sacri- 
fice of feeling, that I have come to be with you. A train 
of most interesting associations is awakened by the occa- 
sion, and it is only because for a single hour in the course 
of these two hundred years my history touched yours, 
that I have been invited to participate in these services. It 
is now nearly fifty years since I preached my first sermon 
in the Bedford Presbyterian Church. 

In the autumn of the year 1833, I was licensed to 
preach the Gospel by the Presbytery of Bedford, then in 

Among the Ministers of the Presbytery at that time was 
the Rev. Jacob Green, who was your Pastor from 1822 
to 1848. 

Before we separated he was kind enough to ask me to 
come to Bedford and preach the same sermon on the next 
Sabbath day. The same sermon was the only sermon that 
I had, and therefore it must be that sermon or none. 

It was the more encouraging and comforting to me to 
receive this invitation from Mr. Green, because he was es- 
timated to be one of the ablest, soundest, and most learned 
men of the Presbytery. Mr. Green was intensely orthodox. 
He was the nephew of Dr. Ashbel Green, a very distin- 
guished champion of orthodoxy in the Presbyterian Church, 
and formerly the President of Princeton College — one of 
the master minds in the Church ; and it was pleasantly re- 
marked of Jacob Green that he inherited from his uncle 
the legacy of orthodoxy, and felt religiously bound to 
" defend the trust ; " and he was abundantly able to do it. 
He had all the tenacity of the soundest and ablest 
divines of that day, and of any day, and he was ready to 
"fight the fight " and to "keep the faith." When you bear 
in mind that Mr. Green did not ask me to come and preach 



until he first heard the sermon, you will admire his cour- 
age as well as his kindness, while you will see that I had 
the more reason to be gratified. The sermon was the fruit 
of more labour, prayer, and care than any discourse I have 
ever prepared since. 

The text was not of my own choosing, but it was as- 
signed to me by the Presbytery, and yet it was one of a 
class of passages which of all in the Bible I would have 
preferred, had the selection been left to me ; but I thought 
it then, and still think it, one of the most comprehensive 
texts in the word of God to men, and I count it no small 
pleasure to be able to say, that when one of your members 
met me at the station this morning, and asked me to ride 
up here, he told me that he remembered hearing me 
preach, and he told me what the text was. Now I would 
like to know how many of you remember the text of a 
sermon that you heard forty years ago ? 

The text has an extent and depth of meaning that no 
human mind can grasp, and it contains all that men may 
need to know and believe in order to inherit eternal life. 

I have that sermon in my hand. If you will' bear with 
me for an hour or two I will read it to you. . . . But 
I do not perceive any encouraging response, and therefore 
I will content myself with simply saying that it is marked 
in the corner "No. 1., Bedford, New York, Oct. 6th, 1833/' 
and it has been lying in my study ever since. And if my 
health should be spared two years and a half longer it 
would give me great pleasure if you will give me the use of 
this church to come here and preach a sermon, the theme 
of which shall be "The past fifty years of the Presbyterian 
Church." I shall be glad to make such a review and make 
it on the spot where I began my ministry of the word of 
God. I remember that a criticism was made in the Presby- 


tery on the sermon by one of the members, who said, 
" The young man has tried to get the whole plan of salva- 
tion into the sermon, and has left nothing for him to say 
afterwards/' The first sentence of the sermon is the whole 
Gospel plan of salvation. 

" And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, 
even so must the Son of man be lifted up, that whosoever 
believeth in him should not perish but have eternal life." 

And I have tried since never to preach a sermon without 
getting so much of the Gospel into it as to enable one who 
heard it to be saved thereby if he would. And that I think 
ought to be the desire of every man who undertakes to 
preach the word. And if I had another fifty years of preach- 
ing to do, beginning again with this text, I would preach 
"Christ and him crucified." Christ lifted up for men. 
And I would keep right on with that one great truth, in 
all its fulness and power, preaching it to the young and old, 
the learned and the unlearned, the rich and the poor ; the 
"great salvation" the "same yesterday, to-day and forever." 
Other men preach philosophy ; I will preach the Gospel/ 
Other men may preach morality ; I will tell of salvation by 
faith in Christ. Others may tell the world that all men 
will finally be saved; but I will say that 'whosoever be- 
lieveth in Christ shall not perish but have eternal life " — 
and they shall perish if they do not believe. 

This is not the same house in which I, a beardless boy, 
less than twenty-one years old, began my services in the 
ministry. I congratulate you on this beautiful sanctuary in 
which you celebrate your two hundredth anniversary. I 
honour and thank him to whose munificence you owe this 
beautiful structure, and I pray God that while in circum- 
stances of so much encouragement and enjoyment you 
gather in these courts to hold this anniversary, you may be- 



gin a new era in the service of God. I pray that you may 
to-day consecrate yourselves, your children, your property 
anew to the service of Christ, and that generations yet un- 
born may here gather and celebrate that great sacrifice 
which God Himself made when He gave His Son for 
your salvation." 

I pray that this pulpit may never give forth any un- 
certain sound in regard to the truths of the Christian re- 
ligion ; that here the honour of God may be sought in the 
promotion of His word, and that it may be said hereafter, 
as it has been said of the former house and of the various 
churches which have existed here, that this and that 
man, yea, that many were born here into the kingdom of 


Let us pray. 

"Almighty and most merciful God, our Father who 
art in Heaven, we thank Thee for the great privilege we 
enjoy of coming together in the courts of Thy house this 
day to record with gratitude all Thy blessings toward us, 
to rehearse the history of the past, to strengthen our hearts 
and minds by reviewing the dealings of God's love toward 
us and toward our fathers before us from generation to gen- 
eration. We thank Thee that Thou hast here established a 
church, that in its infancy and through all the years of its 
history Thou hast been with it. We bless Thee for this long 
line of faithful men who have here preached the Gospel of 
Jesus Christ in sincerity and power.* We thank Thee for 
a godly ancestry. We thank Thee for the institutions of 
religion, for all the means of grace which we enjoy ; and 
for the power which this church has exerted upon this 
community. And we pray that Thou wouldst continue 
to be with this church and people. May Thy servant, the 
present Pastor, derive strength from Thee, and may he go 


forward in the great work to which he is called, and may 
his labors be crowned with abundant success. 

" We pray for the Elders, that they may be men fearing 
God and rejoicing in the truth. 

"We pray for the children of this church, that they 
may all be brought up in the fear of God, and learn the 
way of righteousness. And we beseech Thee, O God, that 
for ages to come this nation may be that happy people 
whose God is the Lord, erecting institutions of religion, 
preserving the truth in its purity, and rejoicing in the ser- 
vice of God ; and may Thy blessing come down upon the 
Church of Christ universal. Revive religion throughout 
our country ; fill all our churches with the glory of Thy 
grace, and may this people consecrate itself to Thee, that 
from our land may go forth into all lands the light of civil 
and of religious liberty and the glorious light of the Gospel 
of Thy Son until all the kingdoms of this world shall be- 
come the kingdoms of Our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. 
Be with us in all the services that are before us. Clothe 
with power Thy servants who shall now address us in re- 
gard to the times that are past, and tell the way in which 
the Lord hath led this people ; and may all who speak to 
us to-day and this evening have help from on high, that 
this may be a great and good occasion, long to be remem- 
bered by those who are present. 

" Hear us in these our prayers. Graciously answer and 
bless us, and finally save us all in that temple where we shall 
forever sing Thy praise, through Jesus Christ, our Lord 
and Redeemer. Amen," 

The first hymn, "Holy, Holy, Holy, Lord God Al- 
mighty," was then sung; and the Historical Discourse 
was delivered by Rev. Charles W. Baird, D.D. (See pre- 
ceding pages.) 


The discourse was followed by the singing of the hymn 
Nearer, my God, to Thee/' 



Minister of the Presbyterian Church of Sing Sing, N. Y. 

I have always been accustomed to hear Bedford spoken 
of as a very retired and quiet country town. So far as my 
own personal knowledge and observation go, however, it 
would seem to be one of the liveliest and most enterpris- 
ing of places ; for whenever it has been my good fortune to 
be here there has always been some great event on hand 
— such as the laying of a corner-stone, or the dedication 
of a church, or the installation of a pastor. To-day we 
have the most unique and peculiar occasion of all, and one 
which seems most appropriately to have stirred the whole 
town from centre to circumference — namely, the celebra- 
tion of the bi-centennial of this Christian church — a grand 
occasion indeed, and one upon which I am glad to be 
with you, and in the public services of which I count it an 
honour and a privilege to participate. 

As I was listening to the admirable historical address of 
Dr. Baird, it occurred to me that there was perhaps a 
special propriety in my being present here to-day. This 
is not the first bi-centennial celebration which I have 
attended. Nineteen years ago, in the year 1862, it was 
my privilege to be present at a service similar to this in 
the dear old church of Jamaica, L. I., to which your 
historian has made reference — the church in which I was 
born and with which I united in my childhood, and which 


claims the proud distinction of being the oldest Presby- 
terian church in the United States. I cannot but recall to- 
day those former bi-centennial services in which I took part 
as a son of the church, one of the thirteen who had gone 
forth from that congregation into the Christian ministry. 
My special mission here to-day is to bear to you, my 
brethren, the cordial salutations and sincere and heartfelt 
congratulations of the Presbytery of Westchester, with 
which this church is connected. But before proceeding 
to speak as a representative of Presbytery, may I not extend 
to you the congratulations of the grand old Presbyterian 
church of Jamaica — that mother of churches and that 
fountain of supply for the Christian ministry. I am sure I 
shall be authorized and justified by that church in speak- 
ing in her behalf, and not only in conveying to you her 
salutations, but also in welcoming you to a share in the 
honour and distinction of being among the very earliest 
organized Presbyterian churches in the land. 

If you will indulge me, I will make another personal 
allusion just here. I was touched by the reference of your 
historian to the last four Pastors who have occupied this 
pulpit — Green, Inglis, Lyon, Heroy — I knew them all. 
When, thirty years ago, I went to Sing Sing to enter upon 
my work there, I found the excellent Jacob Green and his 
wife in my congregation at Sing Sing, and received from 
them a very kind and cordial welcome, and though it was 
but a short time previous to his death, yet I learned 
greatly to respect and love him before he was called hence. 
It was my privilege to be with him in his last sickness, and 
to hear from his lips those very words which Dr. Baird has 
just quoted in connection with that wonderful vision, or 
revelation as he called it, of the future. It was mine to 
close his eyes in death, and to attend his funeral services 



at the church on the morning of the very day on which I 
was there installed Pastor, in the afternoon. His body 
was the first interred in our new cemetery, which was thus 
consecrated by being made the resting-place of the dust of 
so devout and excellent a man. Never shall I forget the 
impressive address of Dr. Spring as we stood around 
the open grave, and with that voice of unequalled beauty 
and power, he gave utterance to these words : " One goeth 
and another cometh." That dear old man finished his 
ministry just as I was about to enter upon mine, and thus 
has it ever been, "one goeth and another cometh." The 
time for individual labour and service is short — but, blessed 
be God, "though the workmen die, yet the work goes 
on ; " when one lays down the armour another takes it up. 

But I have, as I have said, a special errand here to-day, 
and that is to bear to you the congratulations of the Pres- 
bytery with which you are connected. We have little 
perhaps to be proud of in our churches, but we have at 
least this distinction, of having a church which has com- 
pleted two hundred years of its history. In that history 
we rejoice with you to-day. We hail you as the "very 
ewel and crown of our Presbytery. We heartly congratu- 
late you upon the distinction whereunto you have attained, 
and we come with gratitude and thankfulness to unite 
with you in the special and interesting services of this 

As I have been sitting here I have been thinking of the 
dignity and value of a Christian church — God's own ordi- 
nance. With all its imperfections, it is about the grandest 
thing in this poor sinful world of ours. A Christian 
church two hundred years old ! Just think of it ! Why, 
this church is the only living organization, yea, it is the 
only living thing, in this whole town of Bedford, which 



has reached such an age. A tree or an edifice two hundred 
years old would have some interest for us, especially in 
this new country of ours ; we would turn aside to see 
it, and would look upon it with reverence. How much 
more, then, should we come up hither to celebrate the 
bi-centennial of this church of Jesus Christ ! Two hun- 
dred years of history, two hundred years of Christian 
experience and of Christian testimony, two hundred 
years of faith, two hundred years of prayer, two hundred 
years of instruction and of witness-bearing for God and 
His blessed Gospel ! No insignificant matter this. True, 
we have no means by which we can accurately measure 
the influence of this church in all these passing years, 
and yet we feel sure that that influence has been great 
for good, and for the enriching and blessing of this whole 
people. May I not assume that this church has been 
a leading element or factor in shaping and determining 
the character of this community ? Suppose you could de- 
stroy to-day the aggregate influence of the Christian church 
for these two hundred years, and what desolation would 
be evident ! Take out of your individual life the health- 
ful and helping influences which come to you by your 
relations to and association with the church of Christ, the 
influence of her instruction, of her worship, of her social 
gatherings, her prayers, her sacred communion and fellow- 
ship — take out of your life and mine, I say, all these, and 
what would there be left to make life worth the having ? 
You will agree with me, I am sure, when I say that the 
richest and purest joys of our life are those which we find 
in connection w r ith the sacred and precious hours which we 
spend in the sanctuary of God, and in our association 
with His people. And so the influence and power of this 
church have been no mean factors in the education and 



instruction of this people, contributing largely to make 
them what they are, and to lift them to that position of 
honour and excellence in which they rejoice to-day ; and 
thus, also, as to its influence, not only for instruction, but for 
comfort and for consolation, for blessing in various forms. 
Ah, what precious associations stand connected with the 
church of Christ ! How precious and dear is she to our. 
hearts ! And so has it been throughout the whole his 
tory of this church and congregation, in the midst of which 
God's mercy and grace have been so often revealed and 
enjoyed in their preciousness and power. How many have 
here heard the word which has made them wise unto sal- 
vation ! Truly of "this and of that man " it may be said, 
he was born here, born to a new and better life, and to a 
nobler and grander destiny and hope than he had ever 
known before. 

How long has the Gospel been here earnestly preached 
by that long list of faithful servants of the Master, all but 
one of whom have now gone to their reward ! What power 
has that word had for instruction and comfort, for reproof 
and for salvation ! Well may we rejoice and give thanks 
in the review of the good work accomplished by this 
church of Christ through all these passing years and centu- 
ries. You do well, my brethren, to observe this occasion. 
It is becoming thus to look backward over the past, and 
recall the mercies which have distinguished and marked 
our experience and history, in order that our gratitude 
may be awakened and our heartfelt thanksgivings go up to 
Him who is the Author of all our good. 

I bring to you then, my brethren, not only personally 
and as a neighbouring pastor interested in your history and 
welfare, but on behalf of the Presbytery which I represent 
and to which you belong, I bring you sincere congratula- 


tions. I congratulate you upon the glorious past, the 
record of which has been set before us to-day. With all 
my heart I thank my brother for the care and fidelity with 
which he has done his work as historian, for the fulness of 
his investigations, and the clearness with which he has set 
before us the history of this church during these two hundred 
years which are now gone by — a history signally marked 
with blessing, and in the remembrance of which you may 
well rejoice and give thanks. 

But I feel, brethren, that I may congratulate you upon 
the present as well as upon the past. In the possession of 
this beautiful edifice for Christian worship, in the enjoy- 
ment of all the appointed means and ordinances of grace 
in connection with the ministrations of an earnest and 
faithful pastor, what more do you need ? what more can 
you ask ? The struggles and trials, the wrongs and tears 
of which we have heard the record to-day, are, happily, 
matters of the past. There is now " none to molest or 
make you afraid/' or in any way interfere with your full 
enjoyment of your Christian liberty. Thus equipped for 
usefulness and service, and thus enriched with all the privi- 
leges of the Gospel in the ordinances of God and His sanc- 
tuary, I congratulate you, brethren, upon the present. 
Using well your means of good, what measure of satisfac- 
tion and blessing are in store for you ! 

But not merely in view of the past and present, but more 
than all I am moved to congratulate you upon the prospects 
of the future. Whatever may be true of the past and the 
present, the future is certainly full of brightness and of 
promise to you as a church of our Lord and Saviour Jesus 
Christ. Your history as a Christian church has not closed. 
Indeed, as you enter upon this new century, you enter, I 
trust, upon a new era of yet wider usefulness, and nobler ser- 



v'ce for the Master. Individual men live their brief three 
score years and ten, or if by reason of strength it be four- 
score years, yet is their strength labour and sorrow, and it is 
soon cut off and they fly away. But not so with a Christian 
church. Even two hundred years do not here imply in- 
firmity or decrepitude, but rather vigour and increasing 
strength. This church has but just reached the prime of 
its manhood, with the prospect and promise of a future yet 
more glorious than the past. Whatever the past may have 
been, or whatever the present may be, yet "there is more 
to follow.'' Thus even with our best things and the bless- 
ings of our spiritual life, the future is always bright with 
glorious promise and hope. We, my hearers, will soon 
have passed from these earthly scenes, but this church of 
Christ will remain and live, I trust, a thousand years — yea 
to the end of time, from generation to generation, multi- 
plying its agencies, and extending its influences for good. 
And if indeed it be true, that the blessed company of God's 
faithful ones, as they go hence to heaven, still have cogni- 
zance of affairs upon the earth, then as the centuries pass, 
and this Christian church and congregation shall from time 
to time gather to celebrate the love of God and His kindly 
dealings, may it not be that we, together with the vast 
company who have gone up before us from this place, and 
who, though invisible to our mortal eyes, yet look down 
upon us to-day — may it not be, I say, when the three 
hundredth anniversary of this church shall occur, and God's 
people be here gathered to recount His mercies and record 
His love, that with those who are thus present with us to- 
day, and constituting a part of the general assembly and 
church of the first-born in heaven, we too shall look down 
upon the assembled congregation, and that not merely as 
interested spectators or witnesses, but as sharers with them 


of their joy ? Brethren, we shall not soon forget the scenes 
through which we are passing to-day. We ought not to do 
so, but rather to cherish them in our memories, even as we 
shall doubtless retain an interest in what concerns this be- 
loved church of Christ as we go hence-to the eternal world. 

Yet one other thought and I conclude. It is sometimes 
customary in connection with great and joyful occasions 
like this, to manifest our interest by gifts and offerings. 
What offering, my Christian brethren, will you make ? What 
gift will you bring to-day in testimony of your appreciation 
of the peculiar love and mercy which have followed you as 
a church in all those years of the past — that favour of heaven 
which crowns the present with so much of blessing, and the 
future with so much of hope ? What so appropriate as a 
new consecration of yourselves unto God and to His service 
here — all that you are and all that you have ? Are you not 
indebted to God for all, and will you not give Him of His 
own, and that by way of acknowledging your obligations 
and expressing your gratitude for the peculiar mercies of 
the past, the precious blessings of the present, and the glo- 
rious hopes which take hold upon the future which opens 
before you ? Brethren, the time for Christian labour, and 
service, and suffering here, is short. Let us seek to be 
found earnest and diligent and faithful in all the work to 
which God calls us here, even till He shall summon us to 
the rest and glory of His heavenly kingdom. 

Anthem : "Seek ye the Lord." 


II 9 




Minister of the Presbyterian Church of Mount Kisco % N. K. 

It is a pleasure to me to stand here to-day and perform 
the duty that has fallen to my lot. I am not here to de- 
liver an address, nor to make a speech, but simply to con- 
vey the kindly, filial greetings of the daughter to the 
mother. As bone of your bone, and flesh of your flesh, we 
claim a place in your history and a share in your glory. 
They tell us you were not organized originally as a Pres- 
byterian church. We care nothing for thai. It was a vine 
of the Lord's planting, and we together now enjoy its 
fruits and rejoice in its shadow. We celebrate to-day no 
feat of arms, no achievement of science, no wonder of dis- 
covery, no triumph of art. Our work has not been a 
worldly work ; our glory is not an earthly glory. Our re- 
joicing is that we have been an instrument in God's hand 
— a channel for God's love. The vital forces in nature 
are, at the same time, the mightiest and the gentlest. The 
least objective and imposing to the senses, they are the 
grandest in the results which they bring. The thunder- 
bolt is terrific in its crash, but it leaves only death and 
ashes in its pathway. As it rends the royal oak, it de- 
stroys, in the twinkle of an eye, a century of life's work. 
But it is always grander to build than to destroy, to pro- 
duce than to consume. The warrior who is bedecked with 
the stars of worldly honour, and the splendor of whose 
deeds dazzles the eye of ambition, is, among the habita- 
tions of men, what the thunderbolt is in nature. He is 
grand in the path of destruction. Such work may, at 


times, be needed, but it is always sad to be the instrument 
in the ministration of death. The ministration of life is 
rather glorious. And where does earth find the ministra- 
tion of life? Who builds the waste places? What force 
heals the bleeding wounds of humanity ? What power 
restores the desolations of mighty havoc? What balm, 
other than the breath of God, in the Gospel of Jesus, has 
ever sufficed to heal the iniquity of the souls of men, to 
check the wastes of life, and to build up a pure and spirit- 
ualized, a strong and beautiful manhood ? In the Church 
of Christ are treasured the forces which must overmaster 
death, and give life, by the vital touch of God. As the 
unseen and noiseless energies of nature, without any throb 
of struggling effort, or tremor of labour — without any proc- 
lamation of greatness, or declaration of power — daily and 
nightly build the products of the cultivated fields and the 
meadows, the beauty of the flowers and the majesty of the 
forest, so God, by the still, small voice of the Gospel, that 
comes like the dew, distilled in the silence of the night, 
and through the instrumentality of the weak things of the 
world, restores a lost race, and garners a rich harvest of 
souls. The most God-like, and so the grandest, force that 
earth has seen, is the power of the Gospel. It is a grand 
effort in nature that produces a tree, but it is a grander 
effort from above nature that refashions a sinful soul, and 
clothes it in the beauty of holiness. To be the receivers 
and guardians, the legatees and the trustees of such spirit- 
ual resources, is an honour higher and more enduring than 
to lead the armies of a Caesar, and to startle and dazzle the 
world with the brilliant exploits of a Napoleon. I would 
rather have been a deacon in the little church in the 
wilderness of Bedford, holding the lamp of God to light 
the way to heaven, than an Alexander, or a Nelson, or 


even a Franklin. How many streams of spiritual influence 
have started here, how widely they have spread, what rich 
soul-treasures they have borne and are now bearing from 
country and from citv t from east and from west, from 
Christian lands and from heathen lands, on to the heaven- 
land above, God only knows. We gather around the old 
church homestead to-day to bear kindly greetings to the 
spiritual household mother, not in her to glory, but with 
her to glory in the cross of Christ ; not in her to joy, but 
with her to rejoice in the Lord ; not to her to bring thanks- 
giving and praise, but with her to give thanks unto the 
Most High, and praise the name of Him who hath estab- 
lished us in righteousness. The memories of the past 
goodness of our God we gather with grateful recollection, 
and with hearts of tender, tearful thankfulness, we weave 
them into a love-token wreath with which to garland the 
cross of Christ our Saviour. 



Minister of the Presbyterian Church of Katonah, N. Y. 

I would ask the kind patience of the audience for a 
moment, assuring them that they are no more uncomfort- 
able than I am, and that I shall not keep myself or them 
very long. On the seventeenth day of November, 1872, 
the 3d Presbyterian Church in the town of Bedford was 
organized by a committee of the Presbytery of Westchester. 
The pastor and an elder of the church at Mt. Kisco were 
largely instrumental in the organization of that church, and 
five of the original members of the church were dismissed 


by letter from the church at Mt. Kisco. It was my lot to 
be the pastor of that church, so I come here to-day as the 
representative of the grandchild of the Bedford Church to 
bear to our grandmother our greetings and our good wishes. 

Ever since I have been a resident of the town of Bed- 
ford,— and I might say that during the first few months of my 
pastorate I was a resident of the town of Lewisboro, just 
across the line, but discovering that fact and hearing so 
much, although Lewisboro was a very good town, I felt I 
must move over into Bedford, — ever s'nce then I have 
constantly been learning more and more of the glorious 
history of the town of Bedford, and the grand position 
which it occupies in this world of ours. So that I have 
become a very loyal and devoted citizen of that town, and I 
think I have fully as much pride to-day in her history as 
any old resident of the town, although born here and 
whose family for generations has lived here. But it seems 
to me that to-day, as I have sat here and have been drink- 
ing in these facts of the last two centuries of its histo y, as 
they have been so admirably presented to us by our his- 
torian, it seems to me my gratitude has been growing 
stronger and stronger all the time, and more than that I am 
happy to say that I am Pas' or of the church whose grand- 
mother has had such a long and such a glorious history. 

And I am sure I shall go back to my work in connec- 
tion with the grandchild of this church with new inspira- 
tion, feeling that having such an ancestry as this, that we 
shall be true to the ancestry from which we have sprung. 
This is the wish that I bring, that you and we and the 
church at Mt. Kisco, in this town of Bedford, that we, 
representing this form of faith, may be enabled of God to 
go forward, faithful to do the work that He has for us to do 
in this part of His vineyard. 



The one hundred and seventy-eighth hymn — " Jehovah 
reigns ! He dwells in light" — was then sung, and the ser- 
vice was closed with the 


The evening service commenced with the Reading of 
the Holy Scriptures, by Rev. Geo. W. F. Birch. 

Prayer was then offered by Rev. Edgar L. Heermance. 

The Hymn, " Glorious things of thee are spoken," was 

Rev. J. H. Hoyt then read several communications from 
persons unable to be present on this occasion. He added : 
" I have now the pleasure of introducing to you Mr. Fran- 
cis A. Palmer, whose largeness of heart gave us this beau- 
tiful sanctuary." 




I appear before you this evening, my friends, not from 
any desire on my part, but by particular request on the part 
of the friends here. 

As one of the sons of the fathers, I rejoice in the oppor- 
tunity of mingling my sympathies and joys with you, and 
especially in the services which have taken place thus far 
this day. The occasion carries me back to the ministry of 
Mr. Grant. I recall his pastoral visits to my father's house. 
How acceptable they always were ! A man thoroughly 


devoted to his work ; a man of God ; a man whom we 
were always glad to see ; who had a kind word for every 
one, young and old. 

I remember when Ebenezer Howe — some of you will 
recollect him, father of Alva Howe — came through the 
neighbourhood telling us we had a new Minister, and Mr. 
GSWt would preach the following Sabbath. We were re- 
joiced to know that we had a pastor again. I recollect his 
preaching here without interruption until the summer of 
1 83 1, and I look back to see who were the fathers in this 
church at that time. I have a little memorandum here. 
I find here the names of Ebenezer Howe, Samuel Barry, 
his sons Joseph Barry and Frederick Barry, and their sons. 
I find here Capt. David Miller, a pillar in the church until 
the day of his death, andone of the officers. I find here 
a little later, John T*#4d, always present and, an officer in 
the church until he died. His sons are with you. I find 
here the name of Judge Read. I do not know that I ever 
came to this church when a boy without seeing Judge 
Read. He was always a member of the committee ; when- 
ever any one was called upon to come before the commit- 
tee here, he was always present. I find the name of Cap- 
tain James Raymond, who was always present. I find 
Stephen Lounsbury, whose descendants of the third and 
fourth gener^rions^are here with us to-day. I find the 
name of Palme r Lyon and his son Seth Lyon, and then 
his son Solomon Lyon, who was a schoolmate of mine, 
who joined the church the same hour that I did. Then I 
find Mrs. Samuel Trowbridge, who was always here with 
her family, seven or eight sons, all of whom grew up in the 
church, and I never knew of one of these people who 
departed from the faith. They were brought up in the 
church; they were constant attendants here, and this 


church held up the Bible, and old Mr. Green always used 
to preach the Bible. These were the descendants of our 
forefathers. What men were they ? We find in the history 
of Stamford that seven families came there in 1640. They 
came together and built themselves huts, and they went to 
work and built up a meeting house. They had no minis- 
ter. Well the history of it was that two out of seven of the 
brethren started for Boston to find a minister. They went 
to Boston, they obtained a minister, but they had no Bible. 
Bibles were not so p'enty then as now, and they brought a 
Bible in their arms back to Stamford. It took them six 
weeks to make that trip to Boston and back again. Now 
that is what has kept my dear friends from that day to this, 
that is what has kept this people here sound in the faith. 
It is the original teaching of this blessed word. 

In 183 1 we had here what was called a "a four days' 
meeting." Some of the friends here will remember it. 
Mr. Green commenced, and he preached here four days. 
The last day he had a little assistance from Mr. Sander- 
son, from South Salem. I recollect his preaching, and I 
know that, at that time, it created quite an interest here. 
I remember that, on the first Sunday in October, 1831, 
there were forty who joined the church, and I think the 
record shows that in January there were some seventy- 
five more. I have thought, sometimes, that w r e are not 
living up to our privileges. We have had the lives of 
these good men before us, they have lived here for gener- 
ations; yes, for six or seven generations. We have their 
example, and we have had their prayers, and we are debt- 
ors to these good men who lived before us, and I think 
we ought all to be much better than we are. We ought 
to be better Christians, we ought to live nearer the cross 
of Christ, and I would to God that we might renew our 


covenant with Him to-day on this two-hundredth anniver- 

An Address was then made by 


President of the Westchester County Historical Society. 

Anthem : "Show me Thy way, O Lord." 

The Rev. J. Aspinwall Hodge, D.D., Minister of the 
Presbyterian Church of Hartford, Conn., then spoke : 

I trust your patience is not exhausted, for, with Dr. 
Phrarier, I was appointed to bear to you the congratula- 
tions of the Presbytery of Westchester. It is not neces- 
sary for me to repeat what he has so fully expressed. 
From Dr. Baird's historical address, I infer that I was 
chosen as representing Connecticut, from which the 
colony to Bedford was sent, and Hartford, where the 
charter was obtained and the name of your town was 
bestowed. It is difficult, however, to know where I stand 
in relation to you. We have heard to-day much about 
the mother, daughter, and granddaughter ; but what can 
be said of the State and churches of Connecticut who 
produced, sent forth, and nurtured this colony in the 
wilderness ? Poor Connecticut 1 despoiled of her territory, 
separated from her offspring, the last tie, the ecclesias- 
tical, so long ago broken as to be forgotten. What is her 
relation to the church of Bedford ? Like the mother of 
Moses, who, when unacknowledged in her real relation, 
accepted a place as hired nurse to her child, so I, for 



Connecticut, will take any position, even the humblest, 
in this household, and. as one with you, join in your 
grand celebration. 

Receive then, our salutation, to this old church of Bed- 
ford. Yes, old! Not using the word as generally applied 
to fallen man, groaning under the curse of sin, worn out 
by the labours and sorrows of earth, hastening to the 
grave, like a palace deserted of power and mirth, left in 
silence and falling into ruins. But old, in the true, sanc- 
tified meaning of the word, as often used in the Scriptures ; 
old, passing through a development ; obtaining strength, 
experience, wisdom, and manifold graces, and still in- 
creasing towards perfection. The aged should be rever- 
enced. " Thou shalt rise up before the hoary head, and 
honour the face of the old man." No reference is made to 
increasing infirmities, a second childhood, and approach- 
ing dissolution, for these effects of sin are in the church 
counteracted by redemption. Like Moses, when the old 
man went up Pisgah, "his eye was not dim, nor his nat- 
ural force abated/ 7 he had seen God, as one talketh with 
his friend, and the skin of his face shone with the glory 
of the Lord. He was made like unto the Ancient of 
Days, who is described in the Revelation with i% His 
head and hair white as wool, as white as snow, and His 
eyes as a flame of fire." We greet you, old Bedford, en- 
riched with reverence, experience, wealth, ability, and 
wisdom, and with all the eternity of age still before you. 
We congratulate you as you "renew your strength, 
mount up with wings as eagles ; run, and are not weary ; 
and walk, and are not faint." 

Do you realize how old you are ? Nearly twice as old 
as our national institutions. You were active in your 
grand work of forming political character, declaring the 


true principles of government, and publishing peace on 
earth and good will to men, almost one hundred years 
before our new-born nation was rocked in the cradle of 
liberty. As you think of these labours, which are still 
continued, you may feel the dignity of your long service, 
but you can perceive no weariness nor decline of energy. 
In this new building, under your young pastor, with re- 
vived activity of the people rebiptized by the Holy Spirit, 
you are conscious of a preparation and zeal for greater 
efforts. There is an inspiration in age. See this list 
of Ministers who have here laboured and prayed, and 
preached the Gospel. I would that their names were en- 
graven on the walls, that, when your pastor comes into 
this church trembling under responsibility, and anxious 
concerning the effects of his message, he may realize that 
he has entered into their labours to reap what they have 
sown, to receive the answer to their prayers, that he can- 
not labour in vain, that he is not to declare some new 
gospel, a cunningly devised fable, but the truth received 
from God, declared for two centuries to this people, and 
proved to be "the power of God and the wisdom of God 
unto salvation," an eternal benediction. Who would not 
feel encouraged and strengthened by such a sight ? Of 
these, I knew personally only Peter Heroy, the last of the 
honoured pastors, who was one of the first to welcome me 
into the Presbytery. I saw enough of his Christlike spirit 
and faithful labours to congratulate most heartily the man 
who has taken up the mantle that fell from him, and has 
received a double portion of his spirit 

The question has been asked to-day, How is it that this 
church has attained to the age of two hundred years ? The 
full answer is given in the opening chapters of the Book of 
Revelation. The Lord Jesus Christ is described as walk- 


ing among the candlesticks. He recalls the past history of 
each church ; speaks in detail of its labours and varied expe- 
riences. His reproofs and warnings are because of neglect 
or denial of His name and truth, and the adoption of some 
other doctrine. His approbation and promise of continu- 
ance are connected with the keeping of His word, the hold- 
ing and obeying of His doctrine. This church has not had 
its candlestick removed, because it has taught the truth as 
it is in Jesus — the old doctrine of salvation by grace, taught 
under all dispensations. There can be no change in this 
plan of God, this eternal truth. There is change in our 
comprehension of it. The sun is the same to-day as it was 
centuries ago, but we know more about it. Its rays are 
the same as when, on the vanishing flood, it painted the 
rainbow ; but we are learning how its rays are separated 
into the marvellous colors. It brings returning spring, and 
draws from the earth beauty and fruitfulness, as when God 
first bade the grass and plants to put forth abundantly ; 
but we have been able to comprehend something, though 
comparatively little, of the great mystery of life. So the 
Gospel taught in the old Bible is the same doctrine of ever- 
lasting and unchangeable truth. It is the same because 
devised, revealed, made efficient by God. We understand 
the doctrine better, but cannot improve it. We know it 
only in part. Like the prophets of old, we desire to know 
" what the Spirit did signify when He testified of the suffer- 
ings of Christ and the glory that should follow." There- 
fore the lesson, which your history teaches with peculiar 
emphasis, is that which was urged by Mr. Palmer — the 
existence as well as the prosperity of a church, depends 
upon its fidelity to this dear old Bible, and to the vener- 
able and precious doctrine contained therein. Turn not 
aside from the truth ; adopt no new-fangled notions ; do 


not hesitate to maintain that which you have received, and 
which has made this church a birthplace of souls and a 
blessing unto all. " Hold that fast which thou hast, that 
no man take thy crown." 

Rev. J. H. Hoyt : The Rev. Dr. Adams is here, and 
has had this occasion on his memory for a year. I 
think it hardly fair that the time should all be taken up 
and not give him an opportunity to say a word to-night. 

Rev. Dr. Adams : I could hardly refuse when asked to say 
a single word upon this occasion, because my heart is here. 

We have been on high places here to-day, my dear 
friends. We have heard of great and of illustrious names, 
names not known largely, it may be, in the history of the 
world, but names written in the Lamb's Book of Life, and 
they are shining on this night of this two hundredth anni- 
versary, in the heavens above. 

Now what shall be the thought that we shall take away 
with us from these high and delightful places into which 
God has this day called us ? For a moment I have been 
thinking of that mount of vision where Moses and Elias 
and our Lord met together, where the face of the dear 
Lord shone with the very brightness of Heaven, and when 
their eyes were_ opened they beheld "Jesus only. " And 
with all the pleasures of this occasion, and all its delight- 
ful moments and recollections, let us take with us this one 
nought, "Jesus only," so that the inspiration of our lives 
in the future, and the best we have, shall be laid upon His 






Minister of the Central Presbyterian Church, of New York. 

Dear Friends : — I feel at home among you to-night as 
I felt at home among you this afternoon. There are two 
links that bind me to this church, though I never looked 
on the village of Bedford until noon to-day. 

You have already heard from the churches around about, 
the children and the grandchildren. You have heard from 
the Presbytery which has brought its congratulations here 
through Dr. Phraner and Dr. Hodge. Now the Presbyteries 
standing side by side, form a Synod ; and the Synod of New 
York covers the whole of New England. It runs up to 
Poughkeepsie, and in my poor way as an officer of the 
Synod I am here to-night to bring you the congratulations 
of the Synod of New York. We are proud of this, the 
oldest church in the Synod ; and I am sure there is not 
one of the brethren within the bounds of the Synod from 
Boston on the one side to Port Jervis on the other, but 
will feel a throb of gratitude when he reads the record of 
this day. It has been a splendid record. There is another 
tie that binds me to this church, and it is a valued tie. I 
do not want to speak much about it because I am a young 
man. I have had the pleasure of being the pastor of your 
pastor and his wife. How well I remember that bright 
June day, now nearly five years ago, when these two serv- 
ants of the Master, amid the June roses, in that historic 
ground just this side of the Hudson near Tarrytown, joined 
their right hands to walk together in the pathway of this 



mortal life, and I felt then that in the beauty of that 
bright summer's day, and amid the beauty of the surround- 
ings, there was an indication of joy and happiness to come, 
and I thank God that I have lived to see it realized in 
some measure this hour. It is a great thing to be the 
pastor of a church two hundred years old, that has lived 
such a life and has left the record which belongs to this 
church to-day. 

I think we ought to be devoutly thankful for that histori- 
cal record which we heard this afternoon. It was not only 
admirable, to my judgment, it was almost faultless. It is 
worth while holding a two hundredth anniversary just for 
the pleasure of listening to and having in one's possession 
such a paper as that. 

Then it ought to be a source of joy to see the interest 
that this community have shown to-day in such an anni- 
versary. Dr. Prime said to me, "I have just been out 
counting the wagons, and it brought to my mind in a 
fresh sense that passage in the Old Testament where we 
read that Jacob's heart revived within him when he saw 
the wagons ; " and I think every man and woman's heart 
should revive within them when they see such an interest 
manifested in an occasion like this. 

Christianity is older than two hundred years. Infidelity 
is older than two hundred years. Have you ever read of 
the two hundredth anniversary of any infidel institution ? 
There have been infidel associations. Whoever attended 
a fiftieth anniversary of one of them ? What is the differ- 
ence ? Just the difference between nothing and the Lord 
Almighty. Infidelity has no power because it has no 
God. Christianity is stronger than the hills, because it 
has the heart-beat of the Almighty in it. There are other 
things for which we are tiught to be thankful to day. W T e 



all ought to be grateful for having been born in the coun- 
try. I look at my children, and I look upon them with 
commiseration because they happened to be born in New 
York. Why, think of it. When a boy or girl is born in the 
city, what have they to remember ? Stone paved streets 
all alike. Brick walls for the most part all alike. Moving 
every three or four years from house to house. How 
different with the child born in the country where every 
tree, every turn in the road, every bird on the trees, every 
crossing of the way has a sweet and precious memory. 

The unwritten history of this church — who shall speak 
it ? who shall understand it ? How many a man has stood 
in the bright summer sun, holding the plough in the 
valley beyond, and his heart has been heavy. He has 
thought of his troubles ; troubles at home, troubles in 
business, — and then he has remembered what some man 
of God said to him last Sunday, and he has taken hold 
of the plough handles with a firmer grasp, and spoken to 
his team with a " cheerier" word, and gone on to turn the 
furrow with a braver heart. 

How many a mother in the lonely hours of the night 
has watched over the cradle of her sick child thinking of 
the shadow that was to come, thinking of the little mound 
that might be ere long down in the cemetery ; then she 
remembered some hymn of heaven that last Sunday was 
chanted in the house of God, and out of the bosom of 
that hymn as upon golden wings consolation was carried 
down into that aching heart. O the unwritten history of 
the old Bedford Church ! 

How many a man in the city of New York, troubled, 
perplexed, worried almost beyond endurance with anxiety, 
has thought of the dear old home in Bedford, of father 
and mo her who are thinking of him there, and praying 


for htm there, and has said, Now I will be brave, I will 
be patient for that dear old home's sake up in Westchester 
County. Let us see to it that we do the work which we 
have to do. If we have farms to till, let us till them with 
the utmost possible skill ; if we have shops to care for, let 
us see that we are the best mechanics in the whole country ; 
if we have stores, let us see to it that we remember that 
there are always two persons to a bargain, the one that 
buys and the one that sells ; and then though we know 
nothing of what will be in the world or what will come to 
pass in the next two hundred years from this time, we do 
know that if our duty has been well done those that will 
come after us will rise up to call us blessed. And may 
the blessing of God, the Father Almighty, and Christ our 
only Lord and Saviour, and the Holy Spirit our Comforter 
be with us alway. Amen. 

The one hundred and twenty-fourth hymn — 

"From all that dwell below the skies 
Let the Creator's praise arise, " 

was then sung, with the Doxology, and the Benediction 
was pronounced by the Pastor. 


Academy, Bedford, 78, 79, 82, 99. 

Act for settling a Minister, 31, 34, 35, 38. 

Adams, Carson W., 105, 130. 

Albany, N. Y., 68. 

Alexander, Archibald, 46, 47, 55, 56. 

Ambler, Abraham, 13, 16, 17, 18, 20, 21, 24, 27. 

Ambler, Joshua, 6o, 66, 103. 

Ambler, Richard, 13, 16. 

"Anabaptists," 60, 68. 

Anderson vs. Rushton, 14. 

Annals of the American Pulpit, 46. 74, 76. 

Anniversary, Bi-centennial, proceedings at the, 105-134. 

Arnold, Benedict, 65. 

Aspetong, 14. 

Assembly, General, of the province of New York, 31, 35. 

Associated Presbyteries, 80, 84. 

Associated Presbytery of Westchester, 84. 

Association, Hartford North, 41, 76. 

Association, New Haven, 65. 

Association of Fairfield Co., 42, 65, 83. 

Associations, Ct., 59.. 

Awakening, the great, 58, 69. 

Ayres, Richard, 13. 

Ayrshire, Scotland, 45. 

Bacon, Leonard, 30, 40. 
Balden, Theophilus, 17. 
Baldwin, Barnabas, 56. 
Baldwin, Charles C, 56, 57. 


i 3 6 INDEX. 

Baldwin, Henry, 56, 57. 

Ball, Eliphalet, 58-65, 69, 102. 

Ball, Elizabeth, 65. 

Ball, Flamen, 65 ; John, 65 ; Mary, 65 ; Stephen, 65. 

Ball's Town [Ballston], N. Y., 60, 63, 64. 

Banks, Clarissa, 89 ; Edward, 89 ; Jeremiah, 89. 

Barbarism, tendency to, 30. 

Barrett, Jesse, 89 ; Margaret A., 89. 

Barry, Frederick, 124 ; Joseph, 124 ; Samuel, 124. 

Bartow, John, 34, 35. 

Bates' Hill, 15, 22, 23, 24, 26, 69, 95. 

Bates' Ridge, 53. 

Bates, John, 13 ; Mary, 13 ; Robert, 13, 16. 

Baxter, Richard, 9. 

Bedford, Mass., 77. 

Bedford, N. Y., settlement of, 12, 13, 14 ; proprietors of, 13, 15, 16, 

17, 21; officers of, 18, 19 ; character of first settlers of, 20, 

21, 96, 97. 
Bedford, N. Y., claimed by Connecticut, 28, 29; annexed to New 

York, 29 ; provision for support of religion in, 29 ; seeks 

relief from the Act of 1693, 34 ; its territory preserved intact, 


Bedford, N. Y., Methodist Episcopal Church of, 23. 

Bedford, N. Y., Presbyterian Church of, its founders, 20 ; its Minis- 
ters, see Ministers of Bedford Church ; supplied by Ministers 
of Fairfield Co., 26, 42, 83 ; under care of Fairfield Co. 
Association, 42 ; comes under care of Presbytery, 45 ; 
" broken condition " of, 62 ; revivals of religion in, 59 ; 
schism in, 59 ; its records burned, 70, 101. 

Bedford, N. Y., St. Matthew's Church in, 98, 99. 

Bell, John, 64 ; Jonathan, 19. 

Bellamy, Joseph, 41, 60. 

Bellamy Papers, 41. 

" Bend of the Mahanas," 14. 

Benedict, Deborah, 89 ; Emeline, 89 ; Holly, 89 ; Stephen, 77, 103 
Uriah, 64. 

Bensalem, Pa., 47, 48. 

Beverly, England, 13, 16.. 

Birch, Geo. W. F., 123. 

INDEX. 137 

Bishop, John, 26, 27. 

Blatchford Memorial, 73, 76. 

Blatchford, Samuel, 76. 

Bolton, Robert, 14, 25, 32, 34, 35, 38, 42, 44, 56, 59, 63, 98. 

Boston, Mass., T2, 26. 

Boundary Line between N. Y. and Ct., 11, 12, 28, 29. 

Bradford, William, 20, 54. 

Bridge, Christopher, 44, 49. 

Buckingham, Stephen, 44. 

Bucks Co., Pa., 45. 

Bunyan, John, 9. 

Burrett, Samuel, 17. 

Byram River, 28. 

Calendar of British State Papers, 11, 20. 

Cambridge Platform, 42. 

Canfield, Thomas, 17. 

Cantito, 46, 52, 54, 71. 

Canton, Ct., 18. 

Carmel, N. Y., 74. 

" Carrying on the Lord's Day," 24, 27, 30. 

Cemetery, 22, 23, 78. 

Chambers, James, 51 ; Thomas, 51. 

Charles II., 9, 39, 40. 

Chase, Chief Justice, 65. 

Chestnut Ridge, 46, 47. 

Church of England, attempt to establish the, in the province of 

N. Y., 31, 32, 34, 35, 36 ; members of the, in B dford, 98. 
Church of England Missionaries at Rye : 

Thomas Pritchard, 35. 

George Muirson, 38. 

Christopher Bridge, 44. 

Robert Jenney, 49. 

James Wetmore, 42. 
Church of Scotland, 41, 64, 73. 
Cisco River, 46. 
Clark, David, 64 ; John, 103 ; John G., 3, 103 ; Nathan, 51 ; Samuel, 

13, 16 ; William, 13. 
Clason, Stephen, 17. 

133 INDEX, 

Classis of Westchester, 95. 

Claverhouse, 9. 

Clerk, Stephen, 66, 103. 

Cohomong purchase, 50. 

Common, the town, 22. 

Congregationalism, 40, 41, 42. 

Conkling, Timothy, 46. 

Connecticut, consociated churches of, 39, 59. 

Connecticut, 10, n, 12, 39, 40, 41, 59, 63, 64, 75, 76, 85. 

Consociation and Presbytery, 39-42. 

Consociation, Eastern, of Fairfield Co., 41. 

Constable, Minister's rate collected by the, 50. 

Corey, Thomas, 47. 

Cornbury, Governor, 32, 33, 35, 36, 38, 39. 

Cornwell, Mary, 72 ; Stephen, 72. 

Cortlandt, Jacobus van, 35. 

Cortlandt's Line, 14. 

Cortland Manor, N. Y., 58. 

Country rates, 18. 

Covenanters, 9. 

Cow boys, 70. 

Crocker, Daniel, 78. 

Crompond [Yorktown], N. Y., 58. 

Cross, John, 13, 15, 16, 21 ; Nathanael, 13. 

Cross River, 15, 46. 

Cross's Vineyard, 15. 

Culpepper Co., Va., 77. 

Danbury, Ct., 41. 

Davenport, James, 74 ; John, 74, 75. 

David's hill meadow, 55. 

Davies, Samuel, 74. 

Deerfield, N. J., 74. . 

Delaware Co., N. Y., 90. 

Delhi, N. Y., 90. 

Denham, Isaac, 28. 

Denham, Thomas, 22, 26, 27, 29, 78. 

Denton, Richard, 12. 

Devonshire, England, 76. 

INDEX. 139 

Dibble, George, 46. 

Dorchester, Mass., 26. 

Down, Co. of, Ireland, 45 ; bishop of, 45. 

Dragonnades, the, 10. 

Drum, beating the, 30, 43. 

Dunham, John, 27. See Denham. 

Dutchess Co., N. Y., 63, 64, 65. 

Dwight, Timothy, 76, 79. 

East Chester, N. Y., 32, 34, 45, 47. 

Eastman, John H., 91, 121. 

Edgartown, Mass., 77. 

Edinburgh, Scotland, 83, 87. 

Edwards, Jonathan, 60. 

Elders, Ruling, of Bedford Church, 60, 61, 66, 67, 75, 77, 103, 104. 

Elliott, John, 71. 

Fairfield, Ct., 13, 27. 

Fairfield Co., Association of, 42, 65. 

Farmington, Me., 77. 

Fernow, Berthold, 36. 

Finch, Daniel B., 3, 103. 

Fishkill, N. Y., 81. 

" Five Mile Square " [Ballston], N. Y., 60. 

Fleming, Peter, 77, 103. 

Fletcher, Governor, 31, 32. 

Foster, Isaac, 75. 

Franklin, Benjamin, 33. 

Frazee, John H., 89. 

Fredericksburg [Patterson], N. Y., 67, 68. 

Freehold, N. J., 32, 33. 

French War, 30. 

General Court of Ct., 17, 18, 19, 27, 28. 

Genesee country, the, 68. 

Geneseo, N. Y., 68. 

"Gifted brethren," 20. 

Gillett, E. H.,63. 

Gordon, James, 65. 

i 4 o INDEX. 

Gospel, Society for the Propagation of the, in Foreign Parts, 33, 34, 

35, 38, 44, 49- 
Granby, Ct., 18. 

Grant, Ebenezer, 77, 78, 79, 124. 
Green, Ashbel, 80, 106. 
Green, Jacob, 79-86, 99, 106, 112, 125. 
Green, John, 13 : Joseph, 17. 
Green, Mrs. Mary H., 85, 86, 99, 112. 
Greenburg, N. Y., 95. 
Greenfield, Ct., 76. 
Greenwich, Ct., 13, 16, 32, 33, 91. 

Haight, Daniel, 60 ; Phoebe, 89. 

Hait, Elias, 103. 

Hamilton, Canada, 88. 

" Half-way covenant," 59. 

Hall, Enoch, 23. 

Hancock, John, 89. 

Hanover, N. J., 80. 

Hanover [Yorktown], N. Y., 58. 

Harris, Justus, 77, 103. 

Hartford, Ct., 12, 27, 28. 

Hartford North Association, 41. 

Hartsville, Pa., 45. 

Harvard College, 33. 

Hazard, Hannah, 58 ; Nathanael, 58. 

Heathcote, Caleb, 34, 37. 

Heermance, Edgar L., 123. 

Henderson, Josiah, 77 ; Jophanus, 77. 

Hempstead, L. I., 49. 

Heroy, Peter B., 25, 33, 34, 78, 79, 90, 91. 

Highlands, N. Y., 90. 

Hill, Joshua, 51, 52;_William, 52,53. 

Hodge, Charles, 40. 

Hodge, J. Aspinwall, 126. 

Holly, Daniel, 51 ; Col., 78. 

Holmes, David, 51 ; John, 13, 16, 20, 55, 63 ; John C, 50 ; Mrs. 

John C, 19, 57; Jonathan, 51 ; Joseph, 51, 52, 67; Richard, 

50, 57; Samuel L., 99. 

INDEX. 141 

Hop Ground, the [Bedford], 14, 15, 17, 18, 19, 21. 

Hop Meadow, 18. 

Hopewell [Pennington], N. J., 32. 

Hopkinsianism, 85. 

Horton, John, 50. 

Housatonic river, 12. 

How, Isaac, 64. 

Howe, Alvah, 103, 124 ; Ebenezer, 124. 

Hoyt, Alexander S., 64. 

Hoyt, James H., 3, 95. 

Hudson river, 12. 

Humphreys, David, 68. 

Huntington, Ct., 65. 

Huntington, E. B., 13, 26,42. 

India, northern, 83. 

Indian Farm, 14. 

Indian purchase, 15. 

Induction by the Governor of the province, 32, 33, 34. 

Inglis, David, 79, 86, 87. 

Irish Episcopal chinch, 45. 

Jamaica, L. I., 25, in. 

Jay, John, 46, 78, 98, 99, 100. 

Jay, William, 99. 

Jay Papers, 14. 

Jenney, Robert, 42, 44, 49. 

Johnston, James W., 89, 119. 

Johnston, John, 81. 

Jones, Cornelius, 13 ; Daniel, 13, 20, 21 ; Joshua, 51. 

Jones, John, 33, 36, 37, 38, 43. 

Katonah, N. Y., Presbyterian Church of, 91, 121. 

Kellum, Benjamin, 53 ; Theophilus, 54. 

Kellum's Ridge, 53. 

Kennedy, Gilbert, 45. 

Kidd, Alexander, 103. 

Kilborn, Jonathan, 13, 16. 

Knapp, Elizabeth, 89 ; Samuel, 89. 

142 INDEX. 

Knox College, Toronto, 88. 

Ladies' Missionary Society of Bedford Church, 82. 

Lafayette College, 90. 

Lansingburg, N. Y., 76. 

Lawrence, John, 60, 62, 66, 103. 

Lawrenceville, N. J., 32. 

Lewisboro, N. Y., 19, 122. 

Lincoln, President, 65. 

Lindsley, J. H., 33. 

Livingston Co., N, Y., 68. 

Lockwood, Jonathan, 19. 

Log College, the, 46, 47, 69. 

London, England, 35. 

Long Island, 71, 74. 

Long Ridge, 46, 47. 

Louis XIV., 10. 

Lounsbery, Phineas, 103 ; Stephen, 124 ; Nancy, 89. 

Lynn, Mass., 13. 

Lyon, David C, 79, 89, 90. 

Lyon, Israel, 73 ; Palmer, 124 ; Seth, 103, 124 ; Solomon, 124 ; 

Solomon R., 103. 
Lysander, N. Y., 74. 

Macdonald, James M., 25, 

Mahanas River, 14, 55. 

Mahopac Falls, N. Y., 90. 

Maidenhead [Lawrenceville], N. J., 32. 

Mamaroneck, N. Y., 31, 35. 

Makemie, Francis, 38. 

Martha's Vineyard, Mass., 77. 

Martin, Ebenezer, 64. 

Massachusetts, 10, 12, 15, 77. 

Massachusetts Bay, colony of, character of the founders of the, 96. 

Mather, Cotton, 33. 

Mayflower, the, 10, 96. 

McDonald, Lewis, 71, 72 ; Michael, 63 ; Nicholas, 63. 

Mead, David, 30 ; D. M., 13, 16. 

Mead, Solomon, 74. 

INDEX. 143 

" Meeting House," location of the, 15, 21, 23, 24, 95. 

Merritt, Elizabeth, 89. 

Methodist Episcopal Church, Bedford, 23. 

Milford, Ct., 13, 56. 

Miller, David, 103, 124 ; Ebenezer, 60, 66, 103 ; Elisha, 63 ; John, 

13,15, 17,20,21,52,55, -Jonathan, 51,52, 58; Stephen, 51. 
Mills, Samuel, 5S, 63, 65-69, 75. 
Mills, Alexander, 68; Lewis F., 68; Philo, 68; Samuel J., 68; 

William A., 68. 
Mills, Jedidiah, 65 ; Zachariah, 51, 52, 53, 54; Zebadiah, 55, 73. 
Milton, N, Y., 95. 

Minister's lands, the, 19, 27, 48, 50-54, 61, 78. 
" Minister's Rate," the, 44, 46, 47. 
Minister's stipend, 27, 30, 48. 
Ministers of Bedford Church, 102. 

Thomas Denham, 26. 

Joseph Morgan, 32. 

John Jones, 33. 

William Tennent, 45. 

Henry Baldwin, 56. 

Robert Sturgeon, 57. 

Samuel Sacket, 58. 

Eliphalet Ball, 59. 

Samuel Mills, 65. 

John Davenport, 74. 

Isaac Foster, 75. 

Samuel Blatchford, 76. 

Josiah Henderson, 77. 

Ebenezer Grant, 77. 

Jacob Green, 80. 

David Inglis, 86. 

David C. Lyon, 89. 

Peter B. Heroy, 90. 

James H. Hoyt, 95. 
Ministers of Fairfield Co., Ct., 30, 32, 83. 
Ministry, the Christian, in Ct. T 11. 
Minnesota, 90. 
Montreal, Canada, 88. 
Moore, George H., 31. 

144 INDEX. 

Morgan, Joseph, 32, 33, 34, 69. 

Morris, Lewis, 31. 

Morris Co., N. J., 80. 

Morristown, N. J., 81. 

Mount Kisco, Presbyterian Church of, 89, 119. 

Mount Morris, N. Y., 68. 

Muirson, George, 38, 39. 

Neshaminy, Pa., 45, 48,55. 

Neutral Ground, the, 70. 

Nevada, Iowa, 68. 

Newark, N. J., 25. 

Newburg, N. Y., 81. 

New Haven Association, 65. 

<r New Haven Divinity/' 85. 

New Jersey, College of, 74, 80, 83, 106. 

" New Lights," the, 59, 74. 

New London, Ct, 32. 

" New School," the, 85. 

New York, province of, II, 31. 

Nichols, Samuel, 99. 

Nomenclature of Connecticut towns, 28. 

Nonconformists, English, 9. 

North Salem, N. Y., 99. 

Norwich, Ct., 30. 

O'Callaghan, E. B., 14. 
Old Purchase, Bedford, 14, 50. 
" Old School," the, 85. 
" Old Side," the, 60. 
Olmstead, Richard, 19. 
Orange Co., N. Y., 90. 
Ormiston, William, 87. 
Owen, John, life of, 40. 
Owen, Joseph, 73, 77, 82, 83, 103. 
Owen, St. John, 3, 103, 

Palmer, Beriah, 63 ; Ephraim, 91. 
Palmer, Francis A., 91-95, 123 126, 

INDEX. 145 

Palmer, Susanna, 95. 

Parsonage lands sold, 61. 

Patterson, N. Y., 67, 68, 84. 

Pease, Richard L., 77. 

Pennoyer, Robert, 13 ; Thomas, 13. 

Peppeneghek [Cross River], 15. 

Persecution of Covenanters, 9; of Huguenots, 10. 

Pettit, Jonathan, 13. 

Phelps, Noah H., 18. 

Philadelphia, Pa., 45, 49, 54, 62. 

Philip's War, 10, 27. 

Philippi [Carmel], N. Y., 74. 

Phraner, Wilson, 11 1. 

Pilgrim's Progress, 9. 

Plymouth Plantation, 10, 20, 27. 

Poundridge, N. Y., 66, 76. 

Poyer, Thomas, 44. 

Presbyterian Board of Foreign Missions, 83. 

Presbyterian Church, Bedford, 23, 24, 25, 39, 55 ; burning of the, 

63, °7> 7°; rebuilt, 71, 72; incorporated, 73; ecclesiastical 

connection of, 83, 84. 
Presbyterian, the Connecticut churches called, 39, 40, 41. 
Presbyterians of Scotland, 9, 10. 
Presbytery of Bedford, 83, 84, 85, 106. 
Presbytery of Dutchess Co., 63-68, 74, 75, 84. 
Presbytery of Hudson, 84. 
Presbytery of Long Island, 74, 83. 
Presbytery of New Brunswick, 48, 58, 77, 80. 
Presbytery of New York, 83, 95. 
Presbytery of North River, 84. 
Presbytery of Philadelphia, 83. 
Presbytery of Suffolk, 74. 

Presbytery of Westchester, 3, 91, 112, 113, 115, 121, 126. 
Prime, Samuel Irenaeus, 105, 109. 
Princeton College, see New Jersey, College of. 
Princeton Theological Seminary,' 80, 83, 90. 
Pritchard, Thomas, 35-37. 
Provision pay, 30. 
Prudden, John, 25. 

146 INDEX. 

Puritans, the, io, n, 12, 15, 20, 26, 40. 
Putnam Co., N. Y., 67, 74, 84, 90. 

queen's [Rutgers] College, 77. 
Quint, A. S., 41. 
Quintard, Isaac, 53. 

Raymond, Edward, 103 ; James, 67, 124 ; Lucretia, 89 ; Nathan, 64 ; 

Whiting, 89. 
Re, island of, 90. 
Read, Aaron, 103, 124. 
Red Mills [Mahopac Falls], N. Y., 90. 
Religious liberty infringed, 9, 10, 31, 32, 34, 35, 43, 44, 49. 
Revival of Religion in 1741, 59, 69 ; under Sacket's ministry, 59. 
Revolution, war of the, 66, 67, 70, 73, 80. 
Rider, Simeon, 103. 
Rimmer, Alfred, 97. 
Rippowam [Stamford, Ct.], 13. 
Ripton [Huntington, Ct.], 65. 

Roberts, Hezekiah, 51, 54; Zachariah, 17, 20, 35, 37. 
Rochelle, France, 90. 
Rutgers College, 77, 90. 
Rye, N. Y., 27, 28, 34, 35, 45, 49. 
Rye, Parish of, 31, 34,, 35, 38, 43, 44, 49. 

Sacket, Samuel, 58, 59, 60, 69, 83. 

St. John, Moses, 67, 75, 77, 103. 


St. Matthew's Church, Bedford, 98, 99. 

Salem, Mass., 10, 12. 

Salem, N. Y. See South Salem. 

Sanderson, 125. 

Saratoga Co., N. Y., 60, 63, 64, 95. 

Sarles, Mary A., 89; 

Savage, James, 13, 26, 33. 

Saybrook Platform, 40, 41, 42, 83. 

Scarsdale, N. Y., 50. 

" Schism" of 1741, 59. 

Schools in Connecticut, 11. 

Scotland, persecution in, 9, 10. 

INDEX. 147 

Seely. Cornelius, 17, 20, 51 ; Jonas, 13, 16; Obadiah, 13 ; Robert, 

13, 16. 
Separatists in Bedford, 59. 

Session of Bedford Church, 3, 60, 6t, 67. 75, 77, 81. 
Sheepscott, Me., 27, 28. 
Shiland, Andrew, 89. 
Shrewsbury, N. J., 77. 
Silliman, Joseph, 103. 
Simkins, Daniel, 17 ; Vincent, 57. 
Simsbury, Ct., 18, 30. 
Sing Sing. N. Y.,86, in. 
Slawson, Eleazar, 13 ; George, 13; John, 17. 
Smith, Jacob, 66, 67, 75, 103. 
South East, N. Y., 84. 
Southold, L. I., 74. 
South Plain, 55. 

South Salem, N. Y., 74, 84, 125. 
Sprague, Wm. B., 46, 74. 76. 
Spring, Gardiner, 113. 

Stamford, Ct., 12-16, 19, 21, 24, 26, 27, 42, 43, 46, 47, 53, 83, 125. 
Stamford, parish of, 26, 31, 42. 
Stanwix, Fort, 65. 

Stevens, Benjamin, 13, 16; Joseph, 13, 16; Thomas, 13. 
Stiles, President, 57. 
Stratfield, Ct., 76. 
Stratford, Ct., 13. 
Sturdevant, William, 17. 
Sturgeon, Robert, 57, 58, 83. 
Succasunna, N. J., 81. 
Sylvester, N. B., 64. 
Synod of Minnesota, 90. 
Synod of New York, 3, 91, 131. 
Synod of Philadelphia, 45, 47, 48, 62. 

Tarleton, Lt. Col. B., 67. 

Taunton, Mass., 26. 

Taxation for the support of the rector of Rye, 43. 

Tennent, William, 45-56, 69, 74, 83. 

Tennent, Catharine, 45, 54. 

148 INDEX. 

Tennent, Charles, 45 ; Gilbert, 45, 54, 55 ; John, 45, 54, 56 ; Wm 

jr., 45, 56. 
Theale, Joseph, 13, 16, 17, 18, 19, 21, 25 ; Nicholas, 13. 
Theale's Meadow, 55. 
Thomas, John, 44. 
Thomson, John, 35, 36, 37. 
Three Miles Square, Bedford, 14. 
Tisbury, Mass., 77. 
Todd, John, 124. 
Topsham, Eng., 76. 
Toronto, Canada, 88. 
Town offices, 18. 
Town house, 95. 
Town Spot, Bedford, 14, 21. 
Train band of Bedford, 17, 18. 
Travis, David, 3, 104. 

Trowbridge, James H., 3, 103 ; Samuel, 125. 
Trustees of Bedford Church, 73, 78, 92. 
Turner, Douglas K., 45. 
Tyler, Eli, 75, 77, 103. 

Underbill, Captain John, 14. 

Union College, 95. 

Union Theological Seminary, New York, 95. 

Vestry of Rye, 43, 49, 50. 

Wadsworth, James, 68. 

Waring, Richard, 51. 

Warwick, Pa., 45. 

Washington, General, 60, 68. 

Washington Heights, N. Y., 87. 

Waterbury, David, 13, 16, 24 ; Sarah, 13. 

Waterford, N. Y., 76. 

Watertown, Mass., 12, 13, 16. 

Webb, Joshua, 17, 19. 

Webster, Nicholas, 13, 16 ; Richard, 33, 38, 57, 60, 63. 

Weed, Daniel, 13: Jonas, 13, 16 ; Nathanael, 64; Samuel, 13, 

Wescot, John, 13-20 ; Richard, 13 ; Thomas, 51. 

INDEX. 149 

Westchester, N. Y., 35. 

Westchester Co., N. Y., 58, 74, 79, 84, 95. 

Westchester Co. Historical Society, 23, 126. 

Westchester, Presbytery of. See Presbytery. 

Westchester, Classis of, 95. 

Westchester, Associated Presbytery of, 84. 

West Stafford, Ct., 75. 

Wethersfield, Ct., 12, 13. 

" Wethersfield Men," the, 13, 16. 

Wetmore, James, 42, 48, 56, 57, 98. 

Whipping-post Brook, 96. 

White, Epenetus, 64 ; James, 46 ; Stephen, 64. 

Whitefield, George, 58, 69, 74. 

Williamsburg, N. Y., 68. 

Williamson, Albert, 3, 23, 104. 

Wilman, Thomas, 17. 

Wilson, James D., 131-134. 

Wilton, Ct., 57. 

Windsor, Ct., 12, 13, 16. 

Winthrop, John, 10, 12. 

Wood, James, 23, 126. 

Wood, Samuel, 64. 

Woodbridge, Ct., 63, 64, 65. 

Wright, Benjamin, 35, 36, 37. 

Wyat, Thomas, 17. 

Yale College. 56, 59, 65, 68. 
Yorkshire, England, 13, 16. 
Yorktown, N. Y., 58.